Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "History of Alaska : 1730-1885"

See other formats



3  1833  00560  9760 

^c    979,3    B22hi 
Bancroft. ,    HLibert    Howe?  , 

History  of  Alaska  s 



im-f?:-:  ■1-"'. ; 
















Allen  County  Public  Ubl«| 
900  Webcter  Street 


Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress  ia  the  Year  1886,  by 

In  the  Office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington. 

All  Riglds  Reserved . 



On  the  whole,  the  people  of  the  United  States  have 
not  paid  an  exorbitant  price  for  the  ground  upon  which 
to  build  a  nation.  Trinkets  and  trickery  in  the  first 
instance,  followed  by  some  bluster,  a  little  fighting, 
and  a  little  money,  and  we  have  a  very  fair  patch  of 
earth,  with  a  good  title,  in  which  there  is  plenty  of 
equity,  humanity,  sacred  rights,  and  star-spangled 
banner.  What  we  did  not  steal  ourselves  we  bought 
from  those  who  did,  and  bought  it  cheap. 

Therein  we  did  well,  have  that  much  more  to  be 
proud  of,  and  to  confirm  us  in  our  own  esteem  as  a 
great  and  good  nation;  therein  lies  the  great  merit — 
the  price  we  paid.  Had  it  been  dear,  as  have  been 
some  meagre  strips  of  European  soil,  over  which 
France,  Germany,  and  the  rest  have  fought  for  cen- 
turies, spending  millions  upon  millions  of  lives  and 
money,  all  in  the  line  of  insensate  folly,  and  for  that 
which  they  could  not  keep  and  were  better  off  with- 
out— then  we  would  cease  boasting  and  hold  our 
peace.  But  our  neighbors  have  been  weak  while  we 
are  strong ;  therefore  it  is  not  right  for  us  to  pay  them 
much  for  their  lands. 

Ignoring,  as  we  do,  the  birthright  of  aboriginal 
races,  that  have  no  Christianity,  steel,  or  gunpowder, 
we  may  say  that  the  title  to  the  Mississippi  Valley 



was  settled,  and  the  Oregon  Territory  adjudged  to  be 
ours  by  divine  right.  Texas  came  easily;  while  one 
month's  interest,  at  the  then  current  rates,  on  the  gold 
picked  up  in  the  Sierra  Foothills  during  the  first  five 
years  of  American  occupation  would  repay  the  cost  of 
the  Mexican  war,  and  all  that  was  given  for  California 
and  the  adjoining  territory. 

In  the  case  of  Alaska  we  have  one  instance  where 
bluster  would  not  win;  fighting  was  not  to  be  thought 
of;  and  so  we  could  pay  for  the  stationary  icebergs 
or  let  them  alone.  Nor  with  money  easy,  was  Alaska 
a  bad  bargain  at  two  cents  an  acre.  It  was  indeed 
cheaper  than  stealing,  now  that  the  savages  receive  the 
teachings  and  diseases  of  civilization  in  reservations. 

In  1867  there  were  few  who  held  this  opinion,  and 
not  one  in  a  hundred,  even  of  those  who  were  best  in- 
formed, believed  the  territory  to  be  worth  the  pur- 
chase money.  If  better  known  to-day,  its  resources 
are  no  better  appreciated;  and  there  are  many  who 
still  deny  that,  apart  from  fish  and  fur-bearing  ani 
mals,  the  country  has  any  resources. 

The  area  of  Alaska  is  greater  than  that  of  the 
thirteen  original  states  of  the  Union,  its  extreme 
length  being  more  than  two  thousand  miles,  and  its 
extreme  breadth  about  fourteen  hundred;  while  its 
coast-line,  including  bays  and  islands,  is  greater  than 
the  circumference  of  the  earth.  The  island  of  Una- 
laska  is  almost  as  far  west  of  San  Francisco  as  San 
Francisco  is  west  of  the  capital  of  the  United  States ; 
while  the  distance  from  the  former  city  to  Fort 
St  Michael,  the  most  northerly  point  in  America 
inhabited  by  the  white  man,  is  greater  than  to  the 
city  of  Panamd. 


With  the  hmits  of  the  continent  at  its  extreme 
north-west,  the  Hmit  of  the  history  of  western  North 
America  is  reached.  But  it  may  be  asked,  what  a 
land  is  this  of  which  to  write  a  history?  Bleak, 
swampy,  fog-begirt,  and  almost  untenanted  except  by 
savages — can  a  country  without  a  people  furnish  ma- 
terial for  a  history?  Intercourse  with  the  aborigines 
does  not  constitute  all  of  history,  and  few  except  sav- 
ages have  ever  made  their  abiding-place  in  the  wintry 
solitudes  of  Alaska;  few  vessels  save  bidarkas  have 
ever  threaded  her  myriad  isles;  few  scientists  have 
studied  her  geology,  or  catalogued  her  fauna  and  flora; 
few  surveyors  have  measured  her  snow-turbaned  hills ; 
few  miners  have  dug  for  coal  and  iron,  or  prospected 
her  mountains  and  streams  for  precious  metals.  Ex- 
cept on  the  islands,  and  at  some  of  the  more  accessible 
points  on  the  mainland,  the  natives  are  still  unsubdued. 
Of  settlements,  there  are  scarce  a  dozen  worthy  the 
name ;  of  the  interior,  little  is  known ;  and  of  any  cor- 
rect map,  at  least  four  fifths  must  remain,  to-day, 
absolutely  blank,  without  names  or  lines  except  those 
of  latitude  and  longitude.  We  may  sail  along  the 
border,  or  be  drawn  by  sledge-dogs  over  the  frozen 
streams,  until  we  arrive  at  the  coldest,  farthest  west, 
separated  from  the  rudest,  farthest  east  by  a  narrow 
span  of  ocean,  bridged  in  winter  by  thick-ribbed  ice. 
What  then  can  be  said  of  this  region — this  Ultima 
Thule  of  the  known  world,  whose  northern  point  is 
but  three  or  four  degrees  south  of  the  highest  lati- 
tude yet  reached  by  man? 

Such  is  the  general  sentiment  of  Americans  con- 
cerning a  territory  which  not  many  years  ago  was 
purchased  from  Russia,  as  before  mentioned,  at  the 

Hist.  Alaska.    2* 

viii  PREFACE. 

rate  of  about  two  cents  an  acre,  and  was  considered 
dear  at  the  price. 

To  answer  these  questions  is  the  purpose  of  the 
present  volume.  This  America  of  the  Russians  has 
its  little  century  or  two  of  history,  as  herein  we  see, 
and  which  will  ever  remain  its  only  possible  inchoation, 
interesting  to  the  story  of  future  life  and  progress  on 
its  borders,  as  to  every  nation  its  infancy  should  be. 

Though  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  greater  por- 
tion of  Alaska  is  practically  worthless  and  uninhabit- 
able, yet  my  labor  has  been  in  vain  if  I  have  not  made 
it  appear  that  Alaska  lacks  not  resources  but  develop- 
ment. Scandinavia,  her  old-world  counterpart,  is  pos- 
sessed of  far  less  natural  wealth,  and  is  far  less  grand 
in  natural  configuration.  In  Alaska  we  can  count 
more  than  eleven  hundred  islands  in  a  single  group. 
We  can  trace  the  second  longest  watercourse  in  the 
world.  We  have  large  sections  of  territory  where  the 
average  yearly  temperature  is  higher  than  that  of 
Stockholm  or  Christiania,  where  it  is  milder  in  win- 
ter, and  where  the  fall  of  rain  and  snow  is  less  than  in 
the  southern  portion  of  Scandinavia. 

It  has  often  been  stated  that  Alaska  is  incapable  of 
supporting  a  white  population.  The  truth  is,  that  her 
resources,  though  some  of  them  are  not  yet  available, 
are  abundant,  and  of  such  a  nature  that,  if  properly 
economized,  they  will  never  be  seriously  impaired. 
The  most  habitable  portions  of  Alaska,  lying  as  they 
do  mainly  between  55°  and  60°  n.,  are  in  about  the 
same  latitude  as  Scotland  and  southern  Scandinavia. 
The  area  of  this  portion  of  the  territory  is  greater  than 
that  of  Scotland  and  southern  Scandinavia  combined; 
and  yet  it  contains  to-da}^  but  a  few  hundred,  and 


has  never  contained  more  than  a  thousand  white 
inhabitants;  while  the  population  of  Scotland  is  about 
three  millions  and  a  half,  and  that  of  Norway  and 
Sweden  exceeds  six  millions. 

The  day  is  not  very  far  distant  when  the  coal  meas- 
ures and  iron  deposits  of  Scotland,  and  the  mines  and 
timber  of  Scandinavia,  will  be  exhausted ;  and  it  is  not 
improbable  that  even  when  that  day  comes  the  re- 
sources of  Alaska  will  be  but  partially  opened.  The 
little  development  that  has  been  made  of  late  years 
has  been  accomplished  entirely  by  the  enterprise 
and  capital  of  Americans,  aided  by  a  few  hundred 
hired  natives.  Already  with  a  white  population  of 
five  hundred,  of  whom  more  than  four  fifths  are 
non-producers,  the  exports  of  the  territory  exceed 
$3,000,000  a  year,  or  an  average  of  $6,000  per  capita. 
Where  else  in  the  world  do  we  find  such  results  ? 

It  majT-  be  stated  in  answer  that  the  bulk  of  these 
exports  comes  from  the  fur-seal  grounds  of  the  Pry- 
bilof  Islands,  which  are  virtually  a  stock-farm  leased 
by  the  government  to  a  commercial  company;  but  the 
present  value  of  this  industry  is  due  mainly  to  the 
careful  fostering  and  judicious  management  of  that 
company;  and  there  are  other  industries  which,  if 
properly  directed,  promise  in  time  to  prove  equally 
profitable.  Apart  from  the  seal-islands,  and  apart 
from  the  trade  in  land-furs  that  is  diverted  by  the 
Hudson's  Bay  Company,  the  production  of  wealth 
for  each  white  person  in  the  territory  is  greater  than 
in  any  portion  of  the  United  States  or  of  the  world. 
This  wealth  is  derived  almost  entirely  from  the  land 
and  pelagic  peltry,  and  from  the  fisheries  of  Alaska; 
for  at  present  her  mines   are   little   developed,  and 


her  forests  almost  intact.     And  yet  we  are  told  that 
the  country  is  without  resources ! 

It  may  be  supposed  that  for  the  history  of  such  a 
country  as  Alaska,  whatever  existing  information 
there  might  be  would  be  quite  accessible  and  easily 

I  have  not  found  it  specially  so.  Here,  as  elsewhere 
in  my  historic  fields,  there  were  three  classes  of  mate- 
rial which  might  be  obtained :  first,  public  and  private 
archives;  second,  printed  books  and  documents;  and 
third,  personal  experiences  and  knowledge  taken  from 
the  mouths  of  living  witnesses. 

Of  the  class  last  named  there  are  fewer  authorities 
here  than  in  any  other  part  of  my  territory  north  of 
latitude  32°,  though  proportionately  more  than  south 
of  that  line;  and  this  notwithstanding  three  distinct 
journeys  to  that  region  by  m}^  agent — a  man  thor- 
oughly conversant  with  Alaskan  affairs,  and  a  Rus- 
sian by  birth — for  the  purpose  of  gathering  original 
and  verbal  information.  All  places  of  historical  im- 
portance were  visited  by  him,  and  all  persons  of  his- 
torical note  still  living  there  were  seen  and  ques- 
tioned. Much  fresh  information  was  thus  obtained; 
but  the  result  was  not  as  satisfactory  as  has  been  the 
case  in  some  other  quarters. 

The  chief  authorities  in  print  for  the  earlier  epochs 
are  in  the  Russian  language,  and  published  for  the 
most  part  in  Russia;  covering  the  later  periods,  books 
have  been  published — at  various  times  in  Europe  and 
America,  as  will  be  seen  by  my  list  of  authorities — 
and  have  been  gathered  in  the  usual  way. 

The  national  archives,  the  most  important  of  all 


sources,  are  divided,  part  being  in  Russia  and  part  in 
America,  though  mostly  in  the  Russian  language. 
Some  four  or  five  years  were  occupied  by  my  assist- 
ants and  stenographers  in  making  abstracts  of  mate- 
rial in  Sitka,  San  Francisco,  and  Washington.  For 
valuable  cooperation  in  gaining  from  the  archives  of 
St  Petersburg  such  material  as  I  required,  I  am  spe- 
cially indebted  to  my  esteemed  friend  M.  Pinart,  and 
to  the  leading  men  of  letters  and  certain  officials  in 
the  Russian  capital,  from  whom  I  have  received  every 





Russia's  Share  in  America — Physical  Features  of  Alaska — Configuration 
and  Climate — The  Southern  Crescent — The  Tumbled  Mountains — 
Volcanoes  and  Islands — Vegetation — California- Japan  Current — Arc- 
tic Seaboard  and  the  Interior — Condition  and  Character  of  the  Rus- 
sians in  the  Sixteenth  Century — Serfs,  Merchants,  and  Nobles — The 
Fur  Currency — Foreign  Commercial  Relations — England  in  the 
White  and  Caspian  Seas — Eastern  Progress  of  the  Russian  Empire — 
The  North-east  Passage 1 



Siberia  the  Russian  Canaan — From  the  Black  and  Caspian  Seas  over  the 
Ural  Mountains — Stroganof,  the  Salt-miner — Visit  of  Yermak — 
Occupation  of  the  Ob  by  the  Cossacks — Character  of  the  Conquer- 
ors— Their  Ostrog  on  the  Tobol — The  Straight  Line  of  March  thence 
to  Okhotsk  on  the  Pacific — The  Promyshleniki — Lena  River  Reached 
— Ten  Cossacks  against  Ten  Thousand — Yakutski  Ostrog — Explora- 
tion of  the  Amoor — Discoveries  on  the  Arctic  Seaboard — Ivory  ver- 
sus Skins — The  Land  of  the  Chukchi  Invaded — Okhotsk  Estab- 
lished— Kamchatka  Occupied — Rumors  of  Realms  Beyond 14 



Purposes  of  Peter  the  Great — An  Expedition  Organized — Sets  out  from 
St  Petersburg— Death  of  the  Tsar — His  Efforts  Seconded  by  Cath- 
erine and  Elizabeth — Bering  and  Chirikof  at  Kamchatka — They 
Coast  Northward  through  Bering  Strait  and  Prove  Asia  to  be  Sepa- 
rated from  America — Adventures  of  Shestakof — Expeditions  of  Hens, 

(  xiii ) 



Fedorof,  and  Gvozdef — America  Sighted — Organization  of  the  Sec- 
ond General  Expedition— Bibliography — Personnel  of  the  Expedi- 
tion— Bering,  Chirikof,  Spanberg,  Walton,  Croyfere,  Steller,  Miiller, 
Fisher,  and  Others — Russian  Religion — Easy  Morality — Model  Mis- 
sionaries— The  Long  Weary  Way  across  Siberia — Charges  against 
Bering — Arrival  of  the  Expedition  at  Okhotsk 35 



The  Day  of  Departure — Arrival  of  Imperial  Despatches — They  Set  Sail 
from  Okhotsk — The  Sv  Petr  and  the  Sv  Pavel — Bering's  and 
Chirikof 's  Respective  Commands — Arrival  at  Kamchatka — Winter- 
ing at  Avatcha  Bay — Embarkation — 111  Feeling  between  Chirikof 
and  Bering — The  Final  Parting  in  Mid-ocean^Adventures  of  Chiri- 
kof— He  Discovers  the  Mainland  of  America  in  Latitude.55°  21' — 
The  Magnificence  of  his  Surroundings — A  Boat's  Crew  Sent  Ashore 
— Another  Sent  to  its  Assistance — All  Lost! — Heart-sick,  Chirikof 
Hovers  about  the  Place — And  is  Finally  Driven  Away  by  the  Wind 
— He  Discovers  Unalaska,  Adakh,  and  Attoo — The  Presence  of  Sea- 
otters  Noticed — Sickness — Return  to  Avatcha  Bay — Death  of  Croyfere 
— Illness  of  Chirikof 




Discovery  by  Rule — The  Land  not  where  It  ought  to  be — The  Avatcha 
Council  should  Know — Bering  Encounters  the  Mainland  at  Mount 
St  EHas — Claims  for  the  Priority  of  Discovery  of  North-westernmost 
America — Kyak  Island — Scarcity  of  Water — The  Return  Voyage — 
Illness  of  Bering — Longings  for  Home — Kadiak — Ukamok — Sickness 
and  Death — Intercourse  with  the  Natives — Waxel's  Adventure — 
Vows  of  the  Dane — Amchitka,  Kishka,  Semiche,  and  other  Islands 
Seen — At  Bering  Island — Wreck  of  ihe  Sv  Petr — Death  of  Bering 
— Gathering  Sea-otter  Skins — The  Survivors  Build  a  Small  Sv  Petr 
from  the  Wreck — Return  to  Kamchatka — Second  Voyage  of  Chirikof.     75 



Effect  of  the  Discovery  in  Siberia — Hunting  Expeditions  in  Search  of 
Sea-otters — Voyages  of  Bassof,  Nevodchikof,  and  Yugof — Rich  Har- 
vests of  Sea-otter  and  Fur-seal  Skins  from  the  Aleutian  Archipelago 



— The  Cunning  Promyshleniki  and  the  Mild  Islanders — The  Old 
Tale  of  Wrong  and  Atrocity — Bloodshed  on  Attoo  Island — Early 
Monopolies — Chuprof's  and  Kholodilof's  Adventures — Russians  De- 
feated on  Unalaska  and  Amlia — Yugof's  Unfortunate  Speculation 
— Further  Discovery — The  Fate  of  Golodof — Other  Adventures 99 



Tolstykh's  Voyage— Movements  of  Vessels — Stsehlin's  Map— Wreck  of 
the  Andreian  i  Natalia — Catherine  Speaks — A  Company  Formed 
— Collecting  Tribute — The  Neue  Nachrichten — Voyage  of  the  Zak- 
har  i  Elizaveta — Terrible  Retaliation  of  the  Unalaskans — "Voyage 
of  the  Sv  Troitska — Great  Sufferings — Fatal  Onslaught — Voyage 
of  Glottof — Ship  Nomenclature — Discovery  of  Kadiak — New  Mode 
of  Warfare— The  Old  Man's  Tale— Solovief 's  Infamies— The  Okhotsk 
Government — More  St  Peters  and  St  Pauls — Queen  Catherine  and  the 
Merchant  Nikoforof — End  of  Private  Fur-hunting  Expeditions 127 



Synd's  Voyage  in  Bering  Strait — Stsehlin's  Peculiar  Report — The  Grand 
Government  Expedition — Promotions  and  Rewards  on  the  Strength 
of  Prospective  Achievements — Catherine  is  Sure  of  Divine  Favor — 
Very  Secret  Instructions — Heavy  Cost  of  the  Expedition — The  Long 
Journey  to  Kamchatka — Dire  Misfortunes  There — Results  of  the 
Effort — Death  of  the  Commander — Journals  and  Reports — More  Mer- 
cantile Voyages — The  Ships  Sv  Nikolai,  Sv  Andrei,  Sv  Prokop,  and 
Others — The  Free  and  Easy  Zaikof — His  Luck 157 



Political  Changes  at  St  Petersburg — Exiles  to  Siberia — The  Long  Weary 
Way  to  Kamchatka — The  Benyovski  Conspiracy — The  Author  Bad 
Enough,  but  not  So  Bad  as  He  would  Like  to  Appear — Exile  Regula- 
tions— Forgery,  Treachery,  Robbery,  and  Murder — Escape  of  the 
Exiles — Behm  Appointed  to  Succeed  Nilof  as  Commandant  of  Kam- 
chatka— Further  Hunting  Voyages — First  Trading  Expedition  to  the 
Mainland — Potop  Zaikof — Prince  William  Sound — Ascent  of  Copper 



Slver — Treacherous  Chugaches— Plight  of  the  Russians— Homeof  the 
Fur-seals — Its  Discovery  by  Gerassim  Pribylof — Jealousy  of  Rival 
Companies 175 



Russian  Supremacy  in  the  Farthest  North-west — The  Other  European 
Powers  would  Know  What  It  Means — Perez  Looks  at  Alaska  for 
Spain — The  Santiago  at  Dixon  Entrance — Cuadra  Advances  to 
Cross  Sound — Cook  for  England  Examines  the  Coast  as  Far  as  Icy 
Cape— Names  Given  to  Prince  William  Sound  and  Cook  Inlet— Rev- 
elations and  Mistakes — Ledyard's  Journey — Again  Spain  Sends  to 
the  North  Arteaga,  Who  Takes  Possession  at  Latitude  59°  8' — ^Bay  of 
La  Santisima  Cruz — Results  Attained 194 



First  Attempted  Settlement  of  the  Russians  in  America — Voyage  of  Gri- 
gor  Shelikof — Permanent  Establishment  of  the  Russians  at  Kadiak — 
Return  of  Shelikof— His  Instructions  to  Samoilof,  Colonial  Command- 
er— The  Historic  Sable  and  Otter— Skins  as  Currency — Trapping 
and  Tribute-collecting — Method  of  Conducting  the  Hunt — Regula- 
tions of  the  Peredovchiki— God's  Sables  and  Man's— Review  of  the 
Fur-trade  on  the  Coasts  of  Asia  and  America — Pernicious  System  In- 
troduced by  the  Promyshleniki — The  China  ISIarket— Foreign  Ri- 
vals and  their  Method — Abuse  of  Natives — Cook's  and  Vancouver's 
Opinions  of  Competition  with  the  Russians — Extirpation  of  Ani- 
mals   222 



French  Interest  in  the  North-west — La  P6rouse's  Examination — Discov- 
ery of  Port  des  Fran9ais — A  Disastrous  Survey — English  Visitors — 
Meares  is  Caught  in  Prince  William  Sound — Terrible  Struggles  with 
the  Scurs'y — Portlock  and  Dixon  Come  to  the  Rescue — Their  Two 
Years  of  Trading  and  Exploring — Ismailof  and  Bocharof  Set  Forth 
to  Secure  the  Claims  of  Russia — A  Treacherous  Chief — Yakutat 
Bay  Explored — Traces  of  Foreign  Visitors  Jealously  Suppressed — 
Spain  Resolves  to  Assert  Herself — Martinez  and  Haro's  Tour  of  In- 
vestigation— Fidalgo,  Marchand,  and  Caamaiio — Vancouver's  Expe- 
dition 255 






Flattering  Prospects— Costly  Outfit— The  Usual  Years  of  Preparation — 
An  Expectant  World  to  be  Enlightened — Gathering  of  the  Expedi- 
tion at  Kamchatka — Divers  Winterings  and  Ship-building — Prelim- 
inary Surveys  North  and  South — At  Unalaska  and  Kadiak — Russian 
Rewards — Periodic  Promotion  of  Billings — At  St  Lawrence  Island — 
Billings'  Land  Journey — Wretched  Condition  of  Russian  Hunters — 
End  of  the  Tribute  System — Result  of  the  Expedition — Sarychef 's 
Surveys — Shelikof's  Duplicity— Priestly  Performance 282 



Shelikof's  Grand  Conception — Governor-general  Jacobi  Won  to  the 
Scheme — Shelikof's  Modest  Request — Alaska  Laid  under  Monopoly 
— Stipulations  of  the  Empress — Humane  Orders  of  Kozlof-Ugrenin 
— Public  Instructions  and  Secret  Injunctions — Delarof's  Administra- 
tion—SheLkof  Induces  Baranof  to  enter  the  Service  of  his  Com- 
pany— Career  and  Traits  of  the  New  Manager — Shipwreck  of  Ba- 
ranof on  Unalaska — Condition  of  the  Colony — Rivalry  and  Other 
Troubles — Plans  and  Recommendations — Engagement  with  the  Kal- 
jushes — Ship-building — The  Englishman  Shields — Launch  and  Trib- 
ulations of  the  Phoenix 305 



The  Lebedef  Company  Occupies  Cook  Inlet — Quarrels  between  the  Lebe- 
def  and  Shelikof  Companies — Hostilities  in  Cook  Inlet — Complaints 
of  Kolomin  against  Konovalof — War  upon  Russians  and  Indians 
Alike — Life  of  the  Marauders — Pacific  Attitude  of  Baranof — His  Pa- 
tience Exhausted — Playing  the  Autocrat — Arrest  of  the  Ringleaders 
— Effect  on  the  Natives — Baranof's  Speech  to  his  Hunters — Expedi- 
tion to  Yakutat — Meeting  with  Vancouver — The  Lebedef  Company 
Circumvented — Troubles  with  Kaljushes— Purtof 'a  Resolute  Conduct 
— Zaikof's  Expedition ;. 334 



Mechanics  and  Missionaries  Arrive  at  Pavlovsk — Ambitious  Schemes  of 
Colonization — Agricultural  Settlement  Founded  on  Yakutat  Bay — 
Shipwreck,  Famine,  and  Sickness — Golovnin's  Report  on  the  Affairs 

xviii  CONTENTS. 


of  the  Shelikof  Company — Discontent  of  the  Missionaries— Com- 
plaints of  the  Archimandrite— Father  Makar  in  Unalaska— Father 
Juvenal  in  Kadiak— Divine  Service  at  Three  Saints— Juvenal's  Voy- 
age to  Ilyamna — His  Reception  and  Missionary  Labors — He  Attempts 
to  Abolish  Polygamy — And  Falls  a  Victim  to  an  Ilyamna  Damsel — 
He  is  Butchered  by  the  Natives 351 



Threatened  Exhaustion  of  the  Seal-fisheries— Special  Privileges  Given  to 
Siberian  Merchants — Shelikof  Petitions  for  a  Grant  of  the  Entire 
North-west — He  is  Supported  by  Rezanof — Muilnikof 's  Enterprise — 
The  United  American  Company — Its  Act  of  Consolidation  Confirmed 
by  Imperial  Oukaz — And  its  Name  Changed  to  the  Russian  Ameri- 
can Company — Text  of  the  Oukaz— Obligations  of  the  Company 375 



Baranof 's  Difficutties  and  Despondency — Sick  and  Hopeless — Arrival  of 
the  Elizaveta — An  Expedition  Sails  for  Norfolk  Sound — Loss  of 
Canoes— The  Party  Attacked  by  Kolosh— Treaty  with  the  Sitkans— 
Yankee  Visitors— A  Fort  Erected— The  Yakutat  Bay  Settlement— 
Baranof  Desires  to  be  Relieved — His  Official  Tour  of  the  Colonies — 
The  Chief  Manager's  Piety — His  Complaints  of  Foreign  Encroach- 
ments— ^British  Aggressiveness 384 



Rumors  of  Revolt  among  the  Kolosh— They  Attack  Fort  Sv  Mikhail — 
Testimony  of  Abrossim  Plotnikof — And  of  Ekaterina  Lebedef — 
Sturgis'  Equivocal  Statement — Captain  Barber  as  a  Philanthropist — 
Khlebnikof's  Version  of  the  Massacre— Secret  Instructions  to  Bara- 
nof— Tidings  from  Unalaska — Further  Promotion  of  the  Chief  Man- 
ager— He  Determines  to  Recapture  Sitka — Preparations  for  the  Expe- 
dition  401 



The  Nadeshda  and  Neva  Sail  from  Kronstadt — Lisiansky  Arrives  at 
Norfolk  Sound  in  the  JVeva^Baranof  Sets  Forth  from  Yakutat — 
His  Narrow  Escape  from  Shipwreck — He  Joins  Forces  with  Lisiansky 



— Fruitless  Negotiations — Defeat  of  the  Russians — The  Fortress  Bom- 
barded— And  Evacuated  by  the  Savages — The  Natives  Massacre 
their  Children — Lisiansky's  Visit  to  Kadiak — His  Description  of  the 
Settlements — A  Kolosh  Embassy — A  Dinner  Party  at  Novo  Arkhan- 
gelsk— The  Neva's  Homeward  Voyage — Bibliography 421 


bezanof's  visit. 
Voyage  of  the  Nadeshda — A  Russian  Embassy  Dismissed  by  the  Japan- 
ese— Rezanof  at  St  Paul  Island — Wholesale  Slaughter  of  Fur-seals — 
The  Ambassador's  Letter  to  the  Emperor — The  Envoy  Proceeds  to 
Kadiak — And  Thence  to  Novo  Arkhangelsk — His  Report  to  the 
Russian  American  Company — Further  Trouble  with  the  Kolosh — 
The  Ambassador's  Instructions  to  the  Chief  Manager — Evil  Tidings 
from  Kadiak — Rezanof's  Voyage  to  California — His  Complaints 
against  Naval  Officers — His  Opinion  of  the  Missionaries — His  Last 
Journey 443 



Ship-building  at  Novo  Arkhangelsk — The  Settlement  Threatened  by 
Kolosh — A  Plot  against  the  Chief  Manager's  Life — The  Conspira- 
tors Taken  by  Surprise — Arrival  of  Golovnin  in  the  Sloop-of-war 
Diana — His  Description  of  the  Settlement — Astor's  Vessel,  the 
Enterprise,  at  Novo  Arkhangelsk — Negotiations  for  Trade — Golov- 
nin's  Account  of  the  Matter — Famum's  Journey  from  Astoria 
to  St  Petersburg — Wreck  of  the  Juno — SuflFerings  of  her  Crew ....  461 



Baranof's  Want  of  Means — O'Cain's  Expedition  to  California — And  to 
Japan—  The  Mercury  at  San  Diego — Trading  Contracts  with  Ameri- 
can Skippers — Kuskof  on  the  Coast  of  New  Albion — The  Ross 
Colony  Founded — Seal-hunting  on  the  Coast  of  California — Ship- 
building— Agriculture — Shipments  of  Cereals  to  Novo  Arkhangelsk — 
Horticulture — Stock-raising — Losses  Incurred  by  the  Company — 
Hunting-post  Established  at  the  Farallones — Failure  of  the  Enter- 
prise— Sale  of  the  Colony's  Effects ^.  476 






Hagemeister  in  the  Sandwich  Islands — Baranof  Again  Desires  to  be  Re- 
lieved— Eliot  Sails  for  California  in  the  Ilmen — His  Captivity — 
Kotzebue  in  the  Riirik  in  Search  of  a  North-east  Passage — His  Ex- 
plorations in  Kotzebue  Sound — He  Proceeds  to  Unalaska — And 
thence  to  California  and  the  Sandwich  Islands — King  Kamehameha 
— A  Stonn  in  the  North  Pacific  —The  Rurik  Returns  to  Unalaska 
— Her  Homeward  Voyage — Bennett's  Trip  to  the  Sandwich  Islands — 
Captain  Lozaref  at  Novo  Arkhangelsk— His  Disputes  with  the  Chief 
Manager — Sheffer  Sails  for  Hawaii — And  thence  for  Kauai — His 
Agreement  with  King  Tomari — Jealousy  of  American  and  English 
Traders— Flight  of  the  Russians 490 



Hagemeister  Sails  for  Novo  Arkhangelsk — He  Supersedes  Baranof — 
Transfer  of  the  Company's  Effects — The  Accounts  in  Good  Order — 
Sickness  of  the  Ex-manager — Baranof  Takes  Leave  of  the  Colonies — 
His  Death — Remarks  of  Khlebnikof  and  Others  on  Baranof — Kora- 
sokovsky's  Expedition  to  the  Kuskokvim — Roquefeuil's  Voyage — 
Massacre  of  his  Hunters— Further  Explorations — Dividends  and  In- 
crease of  Capital — Commerce — Decrease  in  the  Yield  of  Furs — The 
Company's  Servants 510 



Golovnin's  Report  on  the  Colonies — The  Company's  Charter  Renewed — 
New  Privileges  Granted — Mouravief  Appointed  Governor — Alaska 
Divided  into  Districts — Threatened  Starvation — Chistiakof  Super- 
sedes Mouravief — Foreign  Trade  Prohibited — The  Anglo-Russian 
and  Russo- American  Treaties — More  Explorations — Wrangell's  Ad- 
ministration— He  is  Succeeded  by  Kuprianof — Disputes  with  the 
Hudson's  Bay  Company— Their  Adjustment — Fort  Stikeen — Etholen 
Appointed  Grovernor— A  Small-pox  Epidemic— Statistical 630 



The  Charter  Renewed— Its  Provisions— The  Affair  at  Petropavlovsk — 
Outbreaks  among  the  Natives— The  Nulato   Massacre— A   Second 
Massacre  Threatened  at  Novo  Arkhangelsk  —  Explorations  —  Tho 

Western  Union  Telegraph  Company — Westdahl's  Experience — The 
Company  Requests  Another  Renewal  of  its  Charter — Negotiations 
with  the  Imperial  Government — Their  Failure — Population — Food 
Supplies — The  Yield  of  Furs — Whaling — Dividends —  Trade  —  Bib- 
liographical   ^  568 



Motives  for  the  Transfer  by  the  Russian  Government — Negotiations  Com- 
menced— Senator  Cole's  Efforts — The  Treaty  Signed  and  Ratified — 
Reasons  for  and  against  the  Purchase — The  Territory  as  an  Invest- 
ment— Its  Formal  Cession — Influx  of  American  Adventurers — Meas- 
ures in  Congress — A  Country  without  Law  or  Protection — Evil  Effect 
of  the  Military  Occupation — An  Emeute  at  Sitka — Further  Troubles 
with  the  Natives — Their  Cause — Hootchenoo,  or  Molasses-rum — Rev- 
enue— Suggestions  for  a  Civil  Government — Want  of  Mail  Facilities 
— Surveys  and  Explorations 



Imports  and  Exports — Cost  of  Collecting  Revenue — The  Hudson's  Bay 
Company — Smuggling — The  Alaska  Commercial  Company — It  Ob- 
tains a  Lease  of  the  Prybilof  Islands — The  Terms  of  the  Contract 
— Remuneration  and  Treatment  of  the  Natives — Their  Mode  of  Life 
— Investigation  into  the  Company's  Management — Statements  of 
Robert  Desty— And  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury — Increase  in 
the  Value  of  Furs— Remarks  of  H.  W.  Elliott— Landing  of  the  Fur- 
seals — Their  Combats — Method  of  Driving  and  Slaughtering — Cur- 
ing, Dressing,  and  Dyeing — Sea-otters — Land  Peltry ^. . .  630 




Salmon  Packing— Price  and  Weight  of  the  Raw  Fish— Yukon  River 
Salmon — Alaskan  Canneries — Domestic  Consumption  and  Waste — 
The  Cod-banks  of  Alaska — Large  Increase  in  the  Catch  of  Cod-fish 
and  Decrease  in  its  Value — The  Halibut-fisheries — Herring  and  Her- 
ring-oil— Mackerel — The  Eulachon  or  Candle-fish — Value  and  Pros- 
pects of  the  Alaskan  Fisheries — Whaling  Enterprise — The  North 
Pacific  Whaling  Fleet — Gradual  Decrease  in  the  Catch — Threatened 
Exhaustion  of  the  Whaling-grounds 660 

xxii  CONTENTS. 





Sitka  during  the  Russian  Occupation — The  Town  Half  Deserted — Social 
Life  at  the  Capital — The  Sitka  Library — Newspapers — Fort  Wran- 
gell — Tongass — Harrisburg — Settlements  on  Cook  Inlet — Kadiak — 
Wood  Island — Spruce  Island — Three  Saints — Afognak — The  Aleutian 
Islands — Volcanic  Eruptions  and  Earthquakes — Saint  Michael — Fort 
Yukon — Agriculture— Stock-raising — Timber — Ship-building — Coal- 
mining— Petroleum,  Copper,  Quicksilver,  Lead,  and  Sulphur — Silver 
and  Gold 671 



The  First  Churches  in  Russian  America — A  Diocese  Established — Veni- 
aminof — The  Sitka  Cathedral — Conversion  of  the  Indians — The  Clergy 
Held  in  Contempt — Protestant  Missions — Schools — The  Sitka  Semi- 
nary— The  General  Colonial  Institute — Meteorological — Diseases — 
Hospitals — The  Company's  Pensioners — Creoles — Bibliographical 699 



The  Organic  Act — A  Phantom  of  Civil  Government — Proposed  Indian 
Reservations — Educational  Matters — Appointment  of  United  States 
Officials — Report  of  Governor  Kinkead — His  Successor  Appointed — 
Schwatka's  Voyage  on  a  Raft — Everette's  Exploration — Stoney's 
Expedition — Mining  on  the  Yukon  and  its  Tributaries — The  Takoo 
Mines— The  Treadwell  Lode— Fisheries— Commerce  and  Navigation  717 




Acta  Petropolitana,  1750  et  seq.     In  Librarj-  of  Congress. 

Akademie  der  Wissenschaften  Sitzungsberichte  und  Abbandlungen.     Berlin, 

1859  et  seq. 
Alaska,  Archives  from  Unalaska  and  St  Paul.     MS. 
Alaska,  Army  Sketches  by  an  Officer  of  the  U.  S.  Navy.     In  Army  and 

Navy  Journal,  1868-9. 
Alaska,  History  of  the  Wrongs  of.     San  Francisco,  1875. 
Alaska,  Report  of  the  Icelandic  Committee.     Washington,  1875. 
Alaska,  Traders'  Protective  Association.     San  Francisco,  1869. 
Alaska  Commercial  Company,  Alaska  Fur-Seal,,  n.d.;  By-laws.    S.  F., 

1870;  Extraordinary  Developments  in  regard  to  the  Monopoly.  n.pI.,L  d. 
Alaska  Commercial  Company,  Taylor  vs  A.  C.  Co.  [12th  Dist.  Court,  187^]. 

Alaska  Fur-Seal  Fisheries,  Letter  of   the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  [41sfc 

Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc,  129].     Washington,  1870. 
Alaska  Scrap  Book,  1868-76,  by  Agapius  Honcharenko.  2  vols. 
Alaska  Ship  Building  Company,  Petition  praying  for  grant  of  certain  lands. 

[43d  Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  Sen.  Mis.,  13.]     Washington,  1875. 
Albany  (Or.)  RegJIter. 
Alegre  (Francisco  Javier),  Historia  de  la  Compafiia  de  Jesus  en  Nueva  Espauia.. 

Mexico,  1841.  3  vols. 
Alturas  (Cal.),  Modoc  Independent. 

Alvarado  (Juan  Bautista),  Historia  de  California.  MS.  5  vols. 
American  Greographical  and  Statistical  Society.     New  York,  1850  et  seq. 
American  Quarterly  Review.     Philadelphia,  1827  et  seq. 
American  State  Papers.     Boston,   1817-19.   12  vols.;   Washington,   1832-4; 

1858-61.  folio.  39  vols. 
Anaheim  (Cal.),  Gazette. 
Anderson  (Adam),  Historical  and  Chronological  Deduction  of  the  Origin  of 

Commerce.     London,  1801.  folio.  4  vols. 
Anderson  (Alexander  C),  Northwest  Coast  History.     MS. 
Andei-son  (Alexander  C),  Notes  on  Indian  Tribes  of  British  North  America. 

In  Historical  Mag.,  vii.  73. 
Annals  of  Congress.    [1st  to  18th  Congress.]    Washington,  1834-56.  42  vols. 
Antioch  (Cal.),  Ledger. 

Apost61icos  Afanes  de  la  Compania  de  Jesus.     Barcelona,  1754. 
Arab,  Log-book.  1821-5.     MS. 
Archive  del  Arzobispado  de  San  Francisco.     MS.  5  vols. 

Hist.  Alaska.    3*  (xxiii) 


Archive  de  California.  MS.  273  vols.,  and  a  great  mass  of  loose  papers. 
Documents  preserved  in  the  U.  S.  Surveyor-general's  office  at  San  Fran- 
cisco. Copies  in  my  Collection.  Divided  as  follows:  Prov.  St.  Pap.; 
Prov.  Rec. ;  Dept.  St.  Pap.;  Dept.  Rec. 

Archivo  de  las  Misioncs.     MS.  2  vols. 

Archivo  del  Obispado  de  Monterey  y  Los  Angeles.     MS. 

Archivo  de  Santa  Bdrbara.  MS.   1 1  vols. 

Armstrong  (Alexander),  Personal  Narrative  of  the  Discovery  of  the  North- 
west Passage.     London,  1857. 

Arteaga  (Ignacio),  Tercera  Exploracion,  1779.     MS. 

Astoria  (Or.),  Astorian. 

Atahualpa.  Journal  of  the  Ship.  MS.  In  Library  of  Department  of  State. 
Washington,  D.  C. 

Atlantic  Monthly.     Boston,  1858  et  seq. 

Azanza  (Virey),  Ynstruccion,  1800.     MS. 

Baer  (Karl  Fr.  von).  See  Wi'angell  (Contre  Admiral  V.),  Statistische,  etc. 

Baird  (Spencer  F.),  Fish  and  Fisheries  [41st  Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  Sen.  Mis.  Doc, 
108;  45th  Cong.,  2d  Sess,  Sen.  Mis.  Doc,  49].     Washington,  1870,  1877. 

Balbi  (Adi'ien),  Introduction  a  I'Atlas  ethnographique  du  globe.     Paris,  1826. 

Bancroft  (Hubert  Howe),  History  of  the  Pacific  States  of  North  America. 
San  Francisco,  1882  et  seq.  28  vols.;  Native  Races  of  the  Pacific  States. 
New  York,  1875.  5  vols. 

Bancroft  Library,  MS.  Scrap-books,  containing  classified  notes  used  in  writ- 
ing Bancroft's  works. 

Baranova  (Alek.  A.),  Shizneopisanie.    [Biography.]    St  Petersburg,  1835. 

Barber  (Jolin),  and  Henry  Howe.  History  of  Western  States  and  Terri- 
tories.    Cincinnati,  1867. 

Barrington  (Daines),  Miscellanies.     London,  1781. 

BaiTOw  (J.),  Cook's  Voyages  of  Discovery.     London,  1871. 

Bashmakof  (Feodor),  Papers  relating  to  Trial  for  Sorcery,  1829.     MS. 

Bayly  (William),  The  Original  Astronomical  Observations  made  by  Capt. 
Cook  and  Lieut.  Jas.  King,  1770-80.     London,  1782.  4to. 

Beaman  (C.  C),  Our  New  Northwest.     In  Harper's  Monthly.     July,  1867. 

Beardslee  (L.  A.),  Report  on  condition  of  affairs  in  Alaska  [46th  Cong.,  2d 
Sess.,  Sen.  Ex.  Doc,  105].     Washington,  1880. 

Beechey  (F.  W. ),  Narrative  of  a  Voyage  to  the  Pacific,  etc.,  in  1825-8. 
London,  1831,  2  vols.;  Philadelphia,  1832. 

Beechey  (F.  W.),  Zoology  of  Voyage.     See  Richardson  (J.)  etal. 

Belcher  (Edward),  Narrative  of  a  Voyage  round  the  World  in  1836-42.  Lon- 
don, 1843.  2  vols. 

Bell  (James),  A  System  of  Geography.     Glasgow,  1836.  6  vols. 

Bell  (W.  C),  The  Quiddities  of  an  Alaskan  Trip.     Portland,  Or,,  1873. 

Belmont  (Nev. ),  Courier. 

Benton  (Thomas  H.),  Abridgment  of  Debates  in  Congress,  1759-1856.  New 
York,  1857-63.   10  vols. 

Benyovski  (Maurice  A.),  Memoirs  and  Travels.     London,  1790. 

Berens  (Evgeni  A.),  Puteshestvie  korablaR.  A.  Kompaniy  Nikolai.  [Voyage 
of  the  Russian  American  Company's  ship  Nikolai,  1837-9.]  In  Zapiski 
Hydr.  viii. 

Berg  (Vassili),  Khronologicheskaia  Istoria.  [Chronological  History  of  the 
Discovery  of  the  Aleutian  Islands.]     St  Petersburg,  1820. 

Berry  (M.  P.),  Developments  in  Alaska.     MS. 

Bidwell  (John),  California,  1841-8.     MS. 

Bigland  (John),  A  Geographical  and  Historical  View  of  the  World.  London, 
1810.  5  vols. 

Blachke  (L.),  Topographia  modica  portus  Novo-Archangelscensis.  Petropoli, 

Blagdon  (Francis  William),  The  Modern  Geographer.     London,  n.d.  5  vols. 


Blake  (Theodore  A. ),  General  Topographical  and  Geological  Features  of  North- 
western Coast  of  America  [40th  Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc,  177.] 
Washington,  J 868. 

Blake  (William  P.),  Geographical  Notes  upon  Russian  America.  Washing- 
ton, 1868. 

Blodgett  (Loring),  Alaska,  what  is  it  worth  ?     In  Lipprncott's  Mag.  i.  1868. 

Bloodgood  (C.  D.),  Eight  Months  in  Sitka.     In  Overland  Monthly,  Feb.  1869. 

Bodega  y  Cuadra  (Juan  Francisco),  Comento  de  la  Navegacion,  1775.     MS. 

Bodega  y  Cuadra  (Juan  Francisco),  Navegacion  y  Descubrimiento,  1779. 

Bodega  y  Cuadra  (Juan  Francisco),  Segunda  Salida,  1779.     MS. 

Bodega  y  Cuadra  (.Juan  Francisco),  Viage  de  1775.     MS. 

Boone  (J.  H.  A.),  Russian  America.     In  Atlantic  Monthly,  June,  1867. 

Boston  (Mass.),  Daily  Advertiser,  Evening  Transcript,  Herald. 

Boston  in  the  Northwest,  Solid  Men  of.     MS. 

Brockett  (L.  P.),  Our  Western  Empire.     Philadelphia,  etc.,  1881. 

Brooks  (Charles  Wolcott),  Japanese  Wrecks  in  North  Pacific  Ocean.  San 
Francisco,  1876. 

Bi-oughton  (William  R.),  A  Voyage  of  Discovery  at  the  North  Pacific  Ocean. 
London,  1804. 

Browne  (J.  Ross),  Lower  California.  See  Taylor,  Alex.  S. ;  Report  upon  the 
Mineral  Resources  of  the  States  and  Territories  West  of  the  Rocky 
Mountains.     Washington,  1867;  Washington,  1868;  San  Francisco,  1868. 

Bryant  (Charles),  and  H.  H.  Mclntyre,  Report  on  Alaska.  [41st  Cong.,  2d 
Sess.,  Sen.  Ex.  Doc.  32.]     Washington,  1869. 

Burke  (Edmund),  An  Account  of  the  European  Settlements  in  America. 
London,  1760.  2  vols.;  Id.,  1770.  2  vols. 

Burney  (James),  Chronological  History  of  North  Eastern  Voj'ages  of  Dis- 
covery.    London,  1819. 

Buschman  ( Joh.  Carl),  Die  Pima-Sprache  und  die  Sprache  der  Koloschen,  etc. 
[Berlin,  1856.]     4to. 

Busse,  Jurnal  Fiir  Russland.     St  Petersburg,  1794. 

Bustamante  (Cdrlos  Maria),  Suplemento  d  Los  Tres  Siglos  de  Cave  Jalapa, 

Butler  (William  F.),  The  Wild  North  Land.     Philadelphia,  1874. 

California,  Establecimiento  y  Progresos  de  las  Misiones  de  la  Antigua  Cali- 
fornia.    In  Doc.  Hist.  Mex. ,  serie  iv.  torn.  iv. 
California,  Journals  of  Assembly  and  Senate,  1st  to  24th  sessions,  1850-81; 

with  Appendices — 103  volumes  in  all. 
Calvo  (Charles),  Recueil  Complet  des  Trait^s  de  I'Am^rique  Latine.     Paris, 

1862-9.   16  vols. 
Camp  (David  W.),  American  Year  Book.     Hartford,  1869. 
Campbell  (Archibald),  A  Voyage  round  the  World  from  1806-12.    Edinburgh, 

1816;  Roxbury,  1825. 
Campbell  (.Joseph  B.),  Letter  concerning  importation  of  breech -loading  rifles. 

[44th  Cong.,  1st  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  83.]     Washington,  1876. 
Cancelada  (Juan  Lopez),  Ruina  de  la  Nueva  Espaua.     Cadiz,  1811;  Teldgrafo 

Mexicano.     Cadiz,  1813  et  seq. 
Carr  (John  A.),  Communications  to  Sec.  of  War  in  relation  to  illicit  tralfic  in 

liquor.     [43d  Cong.,  2d  Sess.  Sen  Docs.  24,  27.]     Washington,  1875. 
Carson  City  (Nev.),  State  Register. 

Cartas  Edificantes,  y  Curiosas.     Madrid,  1753-7.   16  vols. 
Cartography  of  the  Pacific  States.     San  Francisco,  1873.     IMS.  3  vols. 
Castaiiares  (Manuel),  Coleccion  de  documentos  relativos  al  departamento  de 

Calif  ornias.     Mexico,  1845. 
Castro  (]Manuel),  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  California.     MS.  2  vols. 
Castroville  (Cal.),  Argus. 
Catald  (Magin),  Carta  sobre  Nootka,  1794.'    MS. 


Chamisso  (Louis  Charles  A.  tou),  Adelbert  von  Chamisso's  Werke.     Vierte- 

Auflage.     Berlin,  1856.  6  vols. ;  Reise  included  in  preceding. 
Chappe  d'Auteroche,  Voyage  en  Sib6rie.     Paris,  1768.  3  vols.;  Amsterdam, 

1770.  2  vols. 
Chateaubriand  (F.  A.),  Voyages  en  Am6rique.     Paris,  1865. 
Chicago  (111.),  Inter-Ocean,  Tribune. 
Chirikof  (Alexei),  Zhurnal  Puteshestvia.     [Journal  of  Voyages. ]    In  Imperial 

Naval  Archives.    St.  Petersburg.     Bundle  xvi. 
Chistiakof  (Peter  Y.),  Puteshestvie  korabla  R.  A.  Kompaniy  ^EJZewa.    [Voyage 

of  the  Russian  American  Company's  ship  Elena  1824-6.]     In  Zapiski 

Hydr.  viii. 
Choris  (Louis),  Voyage  Pittoresque  autour  du  Monde.     Paris,  1822.  folio. 
Clavigero   (Francisco   Saverio),    Storia   della   California.     Venezia,    1789.   2 

Cleveland  (Richard  J.),   Narrative  of  Voyages.     Cambridge,    1842.  2  vols.; 

Boston,  1850. 
Coffin  (James  Heniy),  Winds  of  the  Globe.     Washington,  1875. 
Coleccion  de  Documentos  In^ditos  para  la   Historia  de   Espaua.     Madrid, 

1842-80.  71  vols.   [S.  F.  Law  Library.] 
CoUinson  (R.),  Accotmt  of  the  Proceedings  of  H.  M.  S.  Enterprise  from  Beh- 

rkig  Strait  to  Cambridge  Bay.     In  Lond.  Geog.  Soc,  Jour.  xxv.  194. 
Columbia,  Department  of,  General  Orders.     1865  et  seq. 

Colyer  (Vincent),  Bombardment  of  Wrangell.  Wash.,  1870;  Fur-seal  Fish- 
eries of  Alaska  [41st  Cong.   2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  144.]    Wash.,  1870^ 

Report  on  Indian  Affaii-s.,  n.d. 
Conant  (Charles  T. ),  Letter  concerning  the  killing  of  fur -bearing  animals.    In 

S.  F.  Bulletin,  March  12,  1877. 
Congressional  Globe.     Washington,  1836  et  seq.  4to. 
Congressional  Record.     Washington,  1874  et  seq. 
Cook  (James),  Ti'oisi^me  Voyage  h  1 'Ocean  Pacifique  1776-80.     Paris,  1785. 

4to.  4  vols. 
Cook  (James),  Voyage  to  the  Pacific  Ocean  1776-80.     London,  1784.  4to.  3 

vols,  plates  in  folio;  London,   1784,  4to.  4  vols.;  Philadelphia,  1818,  2 

Cooley  (W.  D. ),  Maritime  and  inland  discovery.     London,  1830-1.  3  vols. 
Coues  (Elliott),  The  Fur-bearing  Animals  of  North  America.     Boston,  1877; 

also  inU.  S.  Geol.  Surv.  of  the  Territories.    Hayden,  Mis.  Pub.  viii. 
Coxe  (William),  Account  of  tlic  Russian  Discoveries  between  Asia  and  Amer- 
ica.    Loudon,  1787. 
Crespi  (Juan),  Diario  de  la  Expedicion  de  Mar.,  1774.    In  Palou,  Not.,  i.  624. 
Cronise  (Titus  Fey),  Natural  Wealth  of  California.     San  Francisco,  1868;  Id. 

•with  illustrations  and  corrections. 

Dall  (William  Healey),  Alaska  and  its  resources.  Boston,  1870;  Is  Alaska  a 
paying  investment.  In  Harper's  Monthly,  Jan.,  1872;  Letter  concerning 
General  Thomas'  Alaska  report.  ,  In  Boston  Daily  Advertiser;  Letter  to 
Elliott  and  Maynard  on  condition  of  affairs  in  Alaska.  Wash.,  1875;  On 
the  relative  value  of  Alaska  to  the  United  States.  In  Wash.  Philosop. 
Soc.  Bull.,  May  1871;  Report  upon  the  agricultural  resources  of  Alaska. 
Wash.,  1869;  Report  on  Mt.  St.  Elias.    In  U.  S.  Coast  Survey  Rpt,  1875. 

Dallas  (A.  G.),  San  Juan,  Alaska  and  the  north-west  boundary.  London, 

Dalles  (Or.),  Mountaineer. 

Daly  (Charles  P,),  Aimual  Address  Jan.  25,  1870.  In  American  Geog.  and 
Stat.  Jour.,  vol.  ii.,  pt.  ii.  Ixxxiii. 

Davidof  (Gavrila  I.),  Dvukratnoie  Puteshestvie.  [Two  Voyages  to  America.] 
St  Petersburg,  1810.  2  vols. 

Davidson  (George),  Coast  Pilot  of  Alaska.  Wash.,  1869;  Directory  for  Pacific 
Coast.  Wash.,  1868;  Scientific  Expedition  to  Alaska.  In  Lippincott'a 
Mag.,  1868,  Nov.  467. 


Davis  (Horace),  Record  of  Japanese  vessels  driven  upon  Northwest  Coast. 

Worcester,  1872. 
Davis  (William  H.),  Glimpses  of  the  Past  in  California.     MS.  2  vols. 
Dawson  (George  M,),  Note  on  some  of  the  most  Recent  Changes  in  level  of 

the  Coast.     Montreal,  1877. 
Dease  (Peter  Warren),  and  Thomas  Simpson,  Account  of  Recent  Arctic  Dis- 
coveries.    In  Lond.  Geog.  Soc,  Jour.  viii.  213. 
Delafield  (John  Jr. ),  An  Inquuy  into  the  origin  of  the  Antiqiiities  of  America. 

Cincinnati,  1839. 
Departmental  Records.     MS.   14  vols.     In  Archivo  de  Cal. 
Departmental  State  Papers.    MS.  20  vols.     In  Archiv^o  de  Cal. ;  Id.    Benicia 

Custom-House.  8  vols.;  Id.,  Benicia  Military,   vols.  53  to  87. 
De  Poletica  (Pierre  de).  Correspondence  with  Sec.  of  State,  Ap.  2,  1822.     In 

Annals  of  Cong.  1822,  ii.  2142. 
De  Smet  (P.  J.),  Missions  de  I'Oregon.     Gand.  n.d. ;  Oregon  Missions.     New 

Yoi-k,  1847;  Voyages  aux  Montagnes  Rocheuses.     Lille,  1859. 
Directories,  Pacific  Coast  Business,  Langley  1871-3;  Puget  Sound.     Murphy 

and  Haruet. 
Disturnell  (J.),  Influence  of  Climate  in  North  and  South  America.     New 

York,  1867. 
Dixon  (George),  Remarks  on  the  Voyages  of  John  Meares,  Esq.     London, 

1790;  Voyage  autour  du  Monde  1785-8.     Paris,  1789.  2  vols.;  Voyage 

round  the  World  1785-8.     London,  1789.  4to. 
Dobbs  (Arthur),  Account  of  the  Countries  adjoining  to  Hudson's  Bay.    Lon- 
don, 1744. 
Dodge  (Wm.  Sumner),  Oration  at  Sitka  July  4,  1868.     San  Francisco,  1868. 
Dokhturof  (Pavel  A.),  Puteshestvie  Kronshtadta  do  Amerikanskikh  Kolo- 

niakh.     [Voyage  from  Kronstadt  to  the  Colonies  1820-2.]     In  Zapiski 

Hydr.  viii. 
Doklad  Komiteta  ob  Ustroistvo  Russkikh  Amerikanskikh  Koloniy.     [Report 

of   Committee   on  Reorganization  of   Russian -American  Colonies.]     St 

Petersburg,  1863-4.  2  vols. 
Douglas  (Sir  James),  Journal  1840-1.     MS. 

Douglas  (Sir  James),  Private  Papers,  1st  and  2d  series.     MS.  2  vols. 
Douglas  (Sir  James),  Voyage  to  the  Northwest  Coast.     In  Id,  Journal     MS. 
Douglass  (William),  Summary,  Historical  and  Political,  etc.  of  the  British 

Settlements  in  North-America.     Boston,  1755.  2  vols. 
Downieville  (Cal.),  Mountain  Messenger. 
Du  Hailly  (Edouard),  L'Exp6dition  de  Petropavlosk.     In  Revue  des  deux 

Mondes,  1858. 
Duhaut-Cilly  (A.),  Viaggio  intorno  al  Globo.     Torino,  1841.  2  vols. 
Dunn  (John),  The  Oregon  Territory  and  the  British  N.  American  fur>trade. 

Philadelphia,  1845. 

Edinburgh  Review.     Edinburgh,  1802,  et  seq. 

Elisa  (Francisco),  Salida  de  los  tres  buques  para  Nootka  ailo  de  1790.     MS. 

Elisa  (Francisco),  Tabla  diaria  de  los  buques  para  el  puerto  de  Nootka,  1790. 

Elisa  (Francisco),  Voyage  1791,  Extracts  from.  In  Papers  relating  to  Treaty 
of  Wash,  v.,  176;  also  in  Reply  of  the  United  States,  97. 

Elliot  (George  H.),  The  Presidio  of  San  Francisco.     In  Overland,  iv.  336. 

Elliott  (Henry  Wood),  The  History  and  Present  Condition  of  the  Fishery 
Industries.  Wash..  1881;  Report  upon  condition  of  affairs  in  Alaska 
[44th  Cong.,  1st  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  33.]  Wash.,  1875;  Ten  Years 
acquaintance  with  Alaska.     In  Harper's  Monthly,  1877. 

Ellis  (W.),  Authentic  Narrative  of  a  Voyage  in  search  of  a  North-west  Pas- 
sage in  1776-80.     London,  1784.  2  vols. 

Engel  (Samuel),  Geographische  und  kritische  Nachrichten  und  Anmerkun- 
gen  liber  die  Lage  der  nordlichen  Gegenden  von  Asien  und  Amerika. 
Mitau,  1772. 


Erman  (A.),  Arcliiv  fur  wissenchaftliche  Kunde  von  Rnssland.    Berlin,  1848. 

Etholin,  Extracts  from  letters  to  the  Board  of  Managers  of  the  Russiaa 
American  Company,  concerning  Ross  Colony.     1841.  MS. 

Eureka  (Cal. )  Northern  Independent,  West  Coast  Signal. 

Evans  (Elwood),  History  of  Oi-egon.     MS. 

Extracts  from  Accounts  of  Russian  American  Company  concerning  Ross- 
Settlement  in  1847  and  1850.     MS. 

Falconer  (Thomas),  On  the  Discovery  of  the  Mississippi.    London,  1844;  The 

Oregon  Question.     London,  1845. 
Farnham  (J.  T.  or  Thos.  J.),  Life,  Adventures  and  Travels  in  Cal.     Pictorial 

ed.     New  York,  1857. 
F6dix  (P.  A.),  L'Or^gon  et  les  cotes  de  I'Ocdan  Pacifique.     Paris,  1846, 
Fernandez  (Jose),  Cosas  de  California.     MS. 

Fernandez  (Jos6),  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  California.     MS. 
Fidalgo  (Salvador),  Tabia  de  Descubrimientos  de  1790.     MS. 
Fidalgo  (Salvador),  Viage  de  1790.     MS. 
Filatof  (Nikander  I.),   Puteshestvie  na  korabli  Aiahs  na  Severo-zapadnom 

beregu  Amerike.     [Voyage  of  the  Aialcs  toward  the  north-west  coast  of 

America.     1821.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 
Findlay  (Alexander  G.),  Directory  for  the  Navigation  of  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

London,  1851.  2  vols. 
Finlayson  (Roderick),  Vancouver  Island  and  the  Northwest  Coast.     MS. 
Fischer  (J.  Eberhard),  Sibirische  Geschichte.    St  Petersburg,  1768.  2  vols. 
Flint  (Timothy),  History  and  Geography  of  the  Mississippi  Valley.     Cincin- 
nati, 1832.  2  vols. 
Forbes  (Alexander),  California,  A  History  of.     London,  1839. 
Forster  (John  Reinhold),  History  of  Voyages  and  Discoveries  made  in  the 

North.     London,  1786.  4to. 
Franchere   (Gabriel),   Narrative  of  a   Voyage   to  the   Northwest   Coast  of 

America,  1811-14.     Redfield,  1854. 
Freimann  (G.),  Letters.     In  Zapiski  Russk.  Geogr.  Obshestvo,  i. 

Galaxy  (The).     New  York,  1866  et  seq. 

Gmelin  (Johann),  Flora  Siberica  sive  historia  plantarum.  St  Petersburg, 
1751-2.  4  vols.     Voyage  en  Sib^rie.     Paris,  1767.  2  vols. 

Goddard  (Frederick  B.),  Where  to  Emigrate,  and  Why.     New  York,.  1869. 

Gold  Hill  (Nev.),  News. 

Goldschmidt  (Albert),  See  Cartography  of  the  Pacific  Coast. 

Goidstone  (Louis),  Memorial  relative  to  Alaska  seal  fishery.  [42d  Cong.  1st. 
Sess.,  H.  Mis.  Doc.  5.]     Washington,  1873. 

Golovnin  (V.  M.),  Puteshestvie  na  shloope  Kamchatka^  1815-19;  [Voyage  of 
the  Kamchatka.']  In  Materialui,  pt  iv. ;  Review  of  Russian  Colonies;  In 
Russ.  Am.  Col.,  iii.  2;  Zapiski.  [Letters  on  condition  of  Russian  Amer- 
ican Colonies.]     In  Materialui,  pt.  i. 

Gordon  (.James  Bentley),  Historical  and  Geographical  Memoir  of  the  N. 
American  Continent.     Dublin,  1820.  4to. 

Grass  Valley  (Cal.),  Foot  Hill  Tidings,  National,  Union. 

Greenhow  (Robert),  History  of  Oregon  and  California.  Boston,  1844;  London, 
1844;  New  York,  1845;  Boston,  1845;  Boston,  1847;  Memoir,  Historical 
and  Political,  on  the  Northwest  Coast  of  North  America.  [26th  Cong. 
1st  Sess.,  Sen.  Doc.  174.]     Wash.  1840. 

Grewingk  (C),  Beitrag  zur  Kenntnissder  orographischen,  etc.,  der  Nordwest 
kiiste  Amerikas.     St  Petersburg,  1850. 

Habersham  (A.  W.),  North   Pacific  Surveying  and  Exploring  Expedition. 

Philadelphia,  1858. 
Hansard  (T.  C),  Parliamentary  Debates  from  1803.     London,  1812-77.     [S.. 

F.  Law  Library.  ] 
Harper's  New  Monthly  Magazine.     New  York,  1856  et  seq. 


Hartford  (Conn.),  Courant. 

Harvey  (Mrs.  Daniel),  Life  of  John  McLoughlin.     MS. 

Haswell  (Robert),  Voyage  of  the  Columbia  Rediviva,  1787,  1791-2.     MS. 

Hazlitt  (Wm.  Carew),  British  Columbia  and  Vancouver's  Island.     London, 

Healdsburg  (Cal.),  Russian  River  Flag. 
Heceta  (Bruno),  Diario  del  Viage  de  1775.     MS. 
Heceta  (Bruno),  Espedicion  Maritima.     In  Palou,  Not.,  ii.  229. 
Heceta  (Bruno),  Segunda  Exploracion,  1775,     MS. 
Heceta  (Bruno),  Viage  de  1775.     MS. 

Hines  (Gustavus),  Oregon:  Its  History,  Condition,  etc.     Buffalo.  1851. 
Historical  Magazine  and  Notes  and  Queries.     Boston,  etc.,  1857-69.   15  vols. 
Hittell  (John  S.),  The  Commerce  and  Industries  of  the  Pacific  Coast.     San 

Francisco,  1882.  4to. 
Hodgedon  (D.  B.),  Report  of  Ascent  of  Makushin  Mountain.     [40th  Cong., 

2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  177.]    Washington,  1869. 
Holmberg  (H.  J.),  Ethnographische  Skizzen  iiber  die  Volker  des  Russischen 

Amerika.  Helsingfors,  1855. 
Honolulu,  Friend,  1843  et  seq.;  Polynesian,  1857  et  seq.;  Sandwich  Island 

Gazette,  1836  et  seq.;  Sandwich  Island  News,  1846  et  seq. 
Honcharenko  (Agapius),  Address  to  the  People  of  Alaska.     In  Alaska  Her- 
ald 1868;  Commercial  Correspondence  to  Oppenheim  &  Co.  of  London 

from  Oct.  1868  to  Jan.  1873;  Scrap  Book,  see  Alaska. 
Hooper  (W.  H. ),  Ten  Months  among  the  Tents  of  the  Tuski.    London,  1853. 
Howard  (0.   0.),  Report  of  Tour  in  Alaska,  June  1875.     [44th  Cong.   1st 

Sess.,  Sen.  Doc.  12.]     Washington,  1876. 
Hudson's  Bay  Company,  Report  from  special  committee.     London,  1857. 
Humboldt  (Alex,  de),  Essai  Politique  sur  le  Royaume  de  la  Nouvelle  Espagne. 

Paris,  1811.  folio.  2  vols,  and  atlas. 
Hunt's  Merchant's  Magazine.     New  York,  1839  et  seq. 
Hutchings'  Illustrated  California  Magazine.     San  Francisco,  1857-61.  5  vols. 

Imperial  Naval  Archives.     St  Petersburg,  1704  et  seq. 

Imray  (James  F.),  Sailing  Directions  for  the  West  Coast  of  North  America. 
London,  1868. 

Intercolonial  Correspondence  of  Sitka.  Office  of  Russian  American  Com- 
pany, in  Sitka  Archives.     MS.  vols,  i.-xxiii. 

International  Review.     New  York,  1881  et  seq. 

Irving  (Washington),  Astoria.     New  York,  1860» 

Islenief,  Nouvelle  carte  des  d6couvertes  faites  par  des  vaisseaux  Russiens. 
Moscow,  1773. 

Ismailof  (Stepan),  Zhurnal.  [Journal.]  MS.  In  Library  of  Department  of 
State.     Washington,  D.  C. 

Ivashintsof  (N.),  Russkia  krugosvetnuia  puteshestvie.  [Russian  Voyages 
round  the  World.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  vii.  viii. 

Jackson  (Sheldon),  Alaska,  and  Missions  on  North  Pacific  Coast.  New 
York,  1880;  Alaska  and  its  inhabitants.  In  American  Antiq.,  ii.  Oct., 
Dec.  1879.  105;  Education  in  Alaska  [47th  Cong.  1st  Sess.,  Sen.  Ex. 
Doc.  30].     Washington,  1881. 

Jacksonville  (Or.),  Reveille,  Sentinel. 

Jenkins  (John  S.),  U.  S.  Exploring  Expeditions.     Auburn,  1850. 

Jewitt  (John  R. ),  Narrative  of  his  Adventures.     Ithaca,  1849. 

Journal  and  Proceedings  of  the  Imperial  Academy  of  St  Petersburg  from 
1780  to  1867. 

Juarez  (Cayetano),  Notas  sobre  Asuntos  de  Cal.     MS. 

Juvenal,  Journal,  1796.     MS. 

Kadnikof  (Nikolai  K.),  Puteshestvie  korabla  R.  A.  Kompaniy  iV/i-ofeJ,  1839- 
41.  [Voyage  of  the  Russian  American  Company's  ship  Nikolai,  1839-41.] 
In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii; 


Kamchatka,  Archives,  1792-1804.     MS.  and  print. 

Kamchatka,  History  of.     Glocester,  176i. 

Kamchatka,  des  Isles  Kurilski  et  des  conti-ees  voisines,  Histoire  de.  Lyon, 
1767.  2  vols. 

Kane  (Thomas  L.),  Alaska  and  the  Polar  Regions.     New  York.  1868. 

Karta  Vkhodof  K.  Novo  Arkhangelskomu  Forty,  etc.,  1809,  1833,  1848. 

Kelly  (Walter),  History  of  Russia.     London,  1854.  2  vols. 

Kerr  (Robert),  General  History  and  Collection  of  Voyages.  Edinburgh,  etc., 
1824.   18  vols. 

Khlebnikof  (K.),  Zapiski  o  Amerika.  [Letters  about  America.]  St  Peters- 
burg, 1861. 

Khramtzof  (A.),  Diary.  MS.  In  Library  of  Department  of  State.  Wash- 
ington, D.  C. ;  also  printed  in  Morskoi  Sbormik. 

Khromtchenko,  Puteshestvie  v  Rossiyskom  Araeriku.  [Voyage  to  Russian 
America.]     In  St  Petersburg  Archives  of  History,  1824. 

Khru'shchef  (Stepan),  Puteshestvie  Voiennago  shloopa  Apollon,  1821-24, 
[Voyage  of  the  Apollon,  1821-24.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 

Kirby  (W.  W.),  Journey  to  the  Yukon.     In  Smithsonian  Rept.,  1864,  416. 

Kislakovski  (Ivan  M.),  Puteshestvie  iz  Kronshtadta  do  Sitkhi,  1821-2. 
[Voyage  from  Kronstadt  to  Sitka,  1821-2.]    In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 

Kittlitz  (F.  H.),  Denkwiirdigkeiten  einer  Reise  nach  dem  Russischen  Amer- 
ika.    Gotha,  1858.  2  vols. 

Klochkof  (Efim  A.),  Puteshestvie  iz  Khronhstadta  do  Sitkhi,  1821-2.  [Voy- 
age from  Kronstadt  to  Sitka,  1821-2.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 

Knox  (Thomas  W.),  The  Russian  American  Telegraph.  In  Excelsior  Mag., 
1.  No.  7,  1869. 

Kohl  (J.  G.),  A  History  of  the  Discovery  of  the  East  Coast  of  North  Amer- 
ica. Portland,  1869;  Popular  History  of  the  Discovery  of  America, 
London,  1862.  2  vols. 

Konny-gcn  (Ivan),  Statement  in  regard  to  Nulato  Massacre.     MS. 

Kostlivtzof  (N.),  Vuadomost  o  nastoiastchem  polozheniy  rossiysko-Ameri- 
kanskikh  Koloniy.  [Report  of  present  condition  of  Russian  American 
Colonies.]     St  Petersburg,  1860. 

Kostromitin  (Peter),  Early  Times  in  the  Aleutian  Islands.     MS. 

Kotzebue  (Otto  von).  Voyage  of  Discovery  into  the  South  Sea  and  Beering's 
Straits.     Berlin,  1819,  and  London,  1821.  3  vols. 

Kotzebue  (Otto  von).  New  Voyage  round  the  World.  London,  1830.  2  vols.; 
Voyage  of  Discovery.     London,  1831.  3  vols. 

Krasheninnikof  (Stepan  P.),  History  of  Kamchatka.     Glocester,  1764. 

Kruger  (Alfred),  Reminiscences.     MS. 

Krusenstern  (A.  J.  von).  Voyage  round  the  World,  1803-6.  London,  1813. 
2  vols. ;  Worter-Sammlungen.     St  Petersburg,  1813.  4to. 

La  Harpe  (Jean  F.),  Abrt5g6  de  I'Histoire  G^n^rale  des  Voyages.     Paris,  1816. 

24  vols,  and  atlas. 
Langsdorff  (G.  H.  von),  Voyages  and  Travels,  1803-7.     Lond.,  1813-14,  2 

La  Pcrouse  (J.  G.  F,  de).  Voyage  autour  du  Monde,     Paris,  1798,  4  vols, 

atlas  folio;   Voyage  round  the  World,  1785-8.     Lond.,  1798.  3  vols.; 

Boston,  1801. 
Laplace  (C.  P.  T.),  Campagne  de  Circumnavigation.     Paris,  1841-54.  6  vols, 
Latham  (Robt.  G.j,  The  Native  Races  of  the  Russian  Empire.     London,  1854, 
Lazaref  (A.),  Opis  puteshestvia  vokrug  svieta  na  shloope  Ladoga,  1822-4. 

[Description  of  a  Voyage  round  the  World  in  the  sloop  Ladofja,  1822- 

24.]     In  Materialui. 
Ledyard  (John),  A  Jounial  of  Capt.  Cook's  last  Voyage  to  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

Hartford,  1873. 
Lessei:>s  (Jean  B.  B. ),  Journal  historique  du  voyage  dans  I'expedition  de  la 

P(5rouse.  Paris,  1790.  2  vols.;  Travels  in Kamtschatka,  1787-8.    London, 

1790.  2  vols. 


Lettres  Edifiantes  et  Curieuses.     Lyon,  1819.    14  vols. 

LippirKjott's  Magazine.     Philadelphia,  18GS  et  seq. 

L'Isle  (J.  N.  de).  Explication  de  la  Carte  des  Nouvelles  Decouvertes  au  Nord. 
Paris,  1752.  4to. 

Lisiansky  (Uri),  A  Voyage  round  the  World,  1803-6.     London,  1814.  4to. 

Log  Books  of  Vessels  of  Russian- American  Company.  In  Sitka  Archives. 
MS.   15  vols. 

London,  Daily  Graphic,  Globe,  Times. 

London  Geographical  Society  Journal.     London,  1831-70.  40  vols. 

Los  Angeles  (Cal.),  Express,  News,  Star. 

Liitke  (Feodor  P.),  Puteshestvie  vokrug  svieta,  etc.,  Seniavln,  1826-9.  [Jour- 
ney round  the  World  on  the  sloop  Seniavin,  1826-9.]  St  Petersburg, 
1835;  Voyage  autour  du  monde  sur  la  corvette  le  Seniavine.  Paris, 

McCabe  (James  D.),  A  Comprehensive  View  of  our  Country  and  its  Resources. 

Philadelphia,  etc.  n.d. 
McDonald  (J.  L.),  Hidden  Treasures,  etc.     Gloucester,  1871. 
McFarlane  (James),  The  Coal-regions  of  America.     New  York,  1873. 
McGregor  (John),  The  Progress  of  America.     London,  1847.  2  vols. 
Mackenzie  (Alexander),  Voyage  from  Montreal  to  the  Frozen  and  Pacific 

Oceans,  1789-93.     London,  1801.  4to;  New  York,  1814. 
McKonochie,  A  Summary  View  of  the  Statistics,  etc. ,  of  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

London,  1818. 
Macpherson  (David),  Annals  of  Commerce.     London,  1801.  4to.  4  vols. 
Malaspiiia,  Disertacion  sobre  la  legitimidad  de  la  navegacion  hecha  en  1588. 

In  Col.  Doc.  In6d.,  xv.  228;  Viaje,  1795.     In  Navarrete,  Viages. 
Maldonado  (Lorencio  Ferrer),  Relacion  del  Descubrimiento  del  Estrecho  de 

Anian.     In  Pacheco  and  Cdrdenas,  Col.  Doc. ,  v.  420;  Voyage  de  la  Mer 

Atlantique  d  I'Ocean  Pacifique.     Plaisance,  1812.  4to. 
Malte-Brun  (V.  A.),  Precis  de  la  Geographic  Universelle.     Bruxelles,  1839. 

6  vols,  and  atlas. 
Manglave  (Eug6ne  de),  Resum6  de  I'Histoire  de  Mexique.     Paris,  1826. 
Marchand  (Etienne),  Voyage  autour  du  Monde,  1790-2.     Paris,  n.d.  5  vols. 
Markof  (Alexey),  Ruskie  na  Vostotchnom,  Okeane,  etc.     [The  Russians  ou 

the  Eastern  Ocean.]     St.  Petersburg,  1856. 
Marmier  (Xavier),  En  Am6rique  et  en  Europe.     Paris,  1860. 
Martin  (R.  M.),  The  Hudson's  Bay  Ten-itories,  etc.     London,  1849. 
Martinez  (Est6van  Jos6),  and  Gonzalo  Lopez  de  Haro,  Cuarta  Exploracion, 

1788.     MS. 
Marysville(Cal.),  Appeal,  California  Express. 

Massachusetts  Historical  Society.     Proceedings,  1863-4.     Boston,  1864. 
Materialui  dla  Istoriy  Russkikh   Zasseleniy.     [Material  for  the  History  of 

Russian  Settlements.]  ■  St  Petersburg,  1861.  4  parts. 
Maurelle  (Francisco  Antonio),  Compendio  de  Noticias,  Viage  de,  1774.     MS. 
Maurelle  (Francisco  Antonio),  Diario  del  Viage  dela  Sonora.     1775.     MS. 
Maurelle  (Francisco  Antonio),  Journal  of  a  Voyage  in  1775.     London,  1780. 
Maurelle  (Francisco  Antonio),  Navegacion,  1779.     MS. 
Maury  (M.  F.),  The  Physical  Geography  of  the  Sea.     New  York,  1855;  Id., 

1856;  Id.,  1857,  many  other  editions. 
Mayer  Manuscripts.     A  collection  of  30  copies  from  Mex.  archives. 
Maynard  (Washburn),  Report  on  Alaska  seal-fisheries  [44th  Cong.,  1st  Sess., 

H.  Ex.  Doc,  43].     Washington,  1875. 
Meares  (John),  Account  of  Trade  between  North  West  Coast  of  America  and 

China.    In  Meares'  Voy..  ed.  London,  1790,  Ixvii. ;  Answer  to  ISIr  George 

Dixon.  London,   1791;   Voyages  in  1788-89  from  China  to  the  N.  W. 

Coast  of  America,     London,  1790.  4to;  Id.,  1791.  2  vols. 
Melanges  Russes  Tires  du  Bulletin  Historico  Philologique.     St  Petersburg, 



J^Inanie  Gosudarstvennavo  sovieta,  1865   and   1866.     [Opinion  of  Imperial 

Council.]     MS.  copies. 
Mofras  (Eugene  Duflot  de);  Exploration  de  I'Or^gon,  des  Calif ornies,  etc. 

Paris,  1844,  2  vols,  and  atlas. 
Mohan  (H.)  et  al.,  Pen  Pictures  of  our  Representative  Men.     Sac,  1880. 
Morris  (William  G.),  Report  upon  the  resources  of  Alaska  [45th  Cong.,  3d 

Sess.,  Sen.  Ex.  Doc,  59.]    Wash.,  1879. 
Morskoi  Sbornik.     [Marine  Miscellany.]     St  Petersburg,  1848  et  seq. 
Miiller  (Gerhard  F. ),  Sammlung  russischer  Geschichten.    St  Petersburg,  1732- 

64.  9  vols.;  Voyages  from  Asia  to  Amei-ica.     London,  1761;  Voyages  et 

d^couvertes  faites  par  les  Russes.     Amsterdam,  1766. 
Muravief  (Matvei  I.),  Puteshestvie  korabl.  R.  A.  Kompaniy  Elena  iz  Sitkhi. 

[Voyage  of  the  Russian  American  Company's  ship  Elena  from  Sitka, 

1826.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 
Murphy  (T.  G. ),  History  of  Alaska.     In  Alaska  Times. 
Murphy  and  Harnet.     See  Directories.     Puget  Sound. 

Murray  (Hugh),  Historical  Account  of  Discoveries  and  Travels  in  N.  Amer- 
ica.    London,  1829.  2  vols. 

Nanaimo  (B.  C),  Free  Press,  Gazette. 

Napa  City  (Cal. ),  Napa  County  Reporter,  Register. 

Narrative  of  Occurrences  in  the  Indian  Countries  of  N.  America.  London, 

Navarrete  (Martin  Fernandez),  Introduccion.  In  Sutil  y  Mexicana,  Viage; 
Viages  Apocrifos.     In  Col.  Doc,  In^d.,  xv. 

Neue  Naclirichten  von  denen  neuentdekten  Insuln  in  der  see  zwischen  Asien 
und  Amerika.     Hamburg,  etc.,  1776. 

Nevada  (Cal.),  Journal,  Transcript. 

New  Helvetia,  Diary  of  Events  in  1S45-8.     MS. 

"Nev,-  York,  Commercial  Journal,  Forest  and  Stream,  Graphic,  Herald,  Illus- 
trated Christian  Weekly,  Journal  of  Commerce,  Post,  Sun,  Sunday 
Times,  Times,  Tribune. 

Nicolay  (C.  G.),  The  Oregon  Territory.     London,  1846. 

Niles' Register.     Baltimore,  etc,  1811-49.  76  vols. 

Nordenskjold  (A.  E. ),  The  Voyage  of  the  Vega.     New  York,  1882. 

North  American  Review.     Boston,  1819  et  seq. 

Northern  Passage,  Summary  Observations  and  Facts  to  Show  the  Practicabil- 
ity of  Success.     London,  1776. 

Notice  sur  la  Cal6dome  Occidentale.     In  Nouv.  An.  Voy.,  xiv.  47. 

Nouvelles  Anuales  des  Voyages.     Paris,  1819-60.   168  vols. 

Novosti  Literatura.     [Literary  Novelties.]    St  Petersburg,  1823  et  seq. 

Oakland  (Cal.),  News,  Press,  Transcript. 

Ogorodnikof  (Ivan),  Ot  Niu  Yorka  do  San  Francisco.     [From  New  York  to 

San  Francisco.]     St  Petersburg,  1869. 
Olafsson  (J(jn),  Alaska  Lysing  a  landi  og  Lands-Kostum,  etc.     Washington, 

Olympia   (Wash.),   Commercial  Age,   Echo,   Pacific   Tribune,   Puget   Sound 

Courier,  Territorial  Republican,  Transcript. 
Overland  Monthly.     San  Francisco,  1868-75.  15  vols. 

Pacheco  (Joaquin  F.),  and  Cardenas  et  al.,  Coleccion  de  Documentos  In6di- 
tos  relativos  al  Descubrimiento,  Conquista  y  Colonizacion  de  las  Pose- 
siones  Espanolas  en  America.     Madrid,  1864-81.  34  vols. 

Pacific  Medical  and  Surgical  Journal.     San  Fi-ancisco,  1858  et  seq. 

Pallas  (Peter  S.),  Russiyskikh  Olkrytiakh,  etc.  [Description  of  Northern 
Archipelago.]  In  Sobranie,  Nordische  Beitriige.  St  Petersburg,  etc., 
1781-96.  7  vols.;  Reise  durch  verschiedene  provinzen  der  Russischen 
Reichs.     St  Petersburg,  1771-6.  3  vols. 


Palmer  (A.  H.),  Memoir,  Geographical,  Political,  and  Commercial,  on  the 
present  state,  etc.,  of  Siberia.  [30th  Cong.,  1st  Sess.,  Sen.  Mis.  Doc.  80.1 
Wash.,  1848. 

Palou  (Francisco),  Noticias  de  la  California.  Mexico,  1857.  In  Doc.  Hist, 
Mex.,  ser.  iv.  torn,  vi.-vii. ;  San  Francisco,  1874.  4  vols.;  Relacion  His- 
torica  de  la  Vida  etc.  de  Junipero  Serra.     Mexico,  1787. 

Papers  relating  to  the  Treaty  of  Washington.  Vol.  v.  Berlin  Arbitration. 
Washington,  1872. 

Patterson  (Samuel),  Narrative  of  Adventures  and  Sufferings  in  Pacific  Ocean. 
Palmer,  1817. 

Payne  (John),  A  New  and  Complete  System  of  Universal  Geography.  New 
York,  1798.  4  vols. 

Peirce  (Henry  A.),  Journal  of  Voyages,  1839-42.     MS. 

Peirce  (Henry  A.),  Plough  Sketch.     MS. 

Pelham  (Cavendish),  The  World.     London,  1808.  4to.  2  vols. 

Pena  (Tomas),  Diario  de  Viage  de  Perez,  1774.     MS, 

Pereleshin  (Nikolai),  Doklad.     [Report.]     In  Morskoi,  Sbomik. 

Perez  (Juan),  Relacion  del  Viage,  1774.     MS. 

Perez  (Juan),  Tabla  Diaria.  1774.     MS. 

Perry  (M.  C. ),  Narrative  of  the  Expedition  of  an  American  Squadron  to  the 
China  Sea.     Washington,  1850.  4to.  3  vols. 

Petaluma  (Cal.),  Argus,  Crescent,  Journal  and  Argus. 

Petit-Thouars  (Abel),  Voyage  autour  du  Monde,  1836-9.  Paris,  1840-4. 
5  vols. 

Petrof  (Ivan),  Alaska  as  it  is.  In  International  Review.  Feb.  1881;  Limit 
of  the  Innuit  Tribes  on  the  Alaska  Coast,  In  American  Naturalist,  July 
1882;  Population  and  Resources  of  Alaska.  [46th  Cong.,  3d  Sess.,  H.  Ex. 
Doc.  40.]    Wash.,  1881. 

Petrof  (Ivan),  The  Management  of  the  Russian  American  Company.     MS. 

Philadelphia,  Inquirer, 

Picolo  (Francisco  M.),  Memorial  sobre  el  estado  de  las  misiones  nuevamente 
establecidas  en  la  California.     In  Cartas  Edificantes,  iii.  257. 

Pinart  (Alphonse),  Les  Almontes  et  leur  Origine.  In  Revue  Orientale,  xii. 
155;  La  Caverne  dAkauank  He  d'Ounga.  Paris,  1875;  Eskimaux  et 
Koloches  Id^es  Religieuses,  etc.  Paris,  1873;  Notes  sur  les  Koloches. 
Paris,  1873;  Note  sur  les  Atkahs.  Paris,  1873;  Voyages  k  la  Cote  Nord 
Ouest  de  I'Amerique.  Paris,  1875.  folio;  La  chasse  aux  ammaux  marins 
et  les  p6cheries  chez  les  Indigenes  de  la  cote  N.  0.  Boulogne,  S.  M.,  1875. 

Pinkerton  (John),  General  Collection  of  Voyages  and  Travels.  London, 
1808-14.  4to.  17  vols. 

Pioche  (Nev.),  Record. 

Placerville  (Cal.),  Mountain  Democrat. 

Plestcheief  (Sergi  I.),  Survey  of  the  Russian  Empire.     London,  1792. 

Politofsky  (N.),  Kratkoie  Istoricheskoie  Obozranie  Obrazovanie  y  Deistvie 
Rossiysko-Amerik.,  etc.  [Brief  historical  review  of  origin  and  transac- 
tions of  Russian  American  Company.]     St  Petersburg,  1861. 

Ponafidin  (Zakiiar  I.),  Puteshestvie  iz  Kallao  do  Sitkhi  1816-18.  [Voyage 
from  Callao  to  Sitka,  181G-18.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.  vii. 

Portland  (Or.),  Bee,  Bulletin,  Commercial,  Deutche  Zeitung,  Herald,  Oregon 
Herald,  Oregonian,  Standard,  Telegram,  West  Shore, 

Portlock  (Nathaniel),  Voyage  round  the  World,  1785-8.    London,  1785-8,  4to. 

PortTownsend  (Wash.),  Argus,  Democratic  Press,  Message. 

Potechin  (V.),  Settlement  of  Ross.     St  Petersburg,  1859, 

Poussin  (G.  T.),  Question  de  I'Or^gon.  Paris,  1846;  The  United  States. 
Philadelphia,  1851. 

Prescott  (Ariz.),  Arizona  Miner. 

Quarterly  Review.     London,  1809^  et  seq. 


Radio  (L.),  Einige  Nachrichten  iiber  die  Sprache  der  Kaiganen.     St  Peters- 
burg, 1858. 
Randolph  (Edmund),  Oration  before  Society  of  Cal.  Pioneers,  Sept.  1860. 

In  Hutchings'  Mag.,  v.  263. 
Raymond  (Charles  W.),  Report  of  Yukon  River  and  island  of  St  Paul.     Jan. 

1,  1870  [41st  Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  112].     Washington,  1870. 
Raynal  (G.  T.),  Histoire  Philosophique.     Paris,  1820-1.  12  vols,  and  atlas. 
Recherches  Philosophiques  sur  les  Americains.     London,  1770.  2  vols. 
Red  Bluff  (Cal.),  Independent,  Sentinel. 
Revilla  Gigedo  (Virey),  Informe  de  12  Abril,  1793.     In  Bustamante  Suple- 

mento,  iii.  112. 
Revue  des  Deux  Mondes.     Paris,  1839  et  seq. 
Revue  Orientale  et  Americaine.     Paris,  1859  et  seq. 
Richardson  (Sir  John),  Arctic  Searching  Expedition.     London,  1851.  2  vols.; 

The  Polar  Regions.     Edinburgh,  1861. 
Richardson  (J.)  et  al.,  Zoology  of  Beechey's  Voyage.  Lond.,  1839-40. 
Ridpath  (John  C),  A  Popular  History  of  the  U.  S.     New  York,  1877. 
Rivinus  (Edward  F. ),  Atlantis,  Journal  des  Neuesten  und  Wissenswiirdigsteu 

■  etc.     Leipzig,  1827. 
Rocky  Mountain  Presbyterian.     Denver,  1877  et  seq. 
Rogers  (Commander  John),  Letters  on  Surveying  Expedition  to  North  Pacific 

Ocean,  Berings  Straits,  and  China  Seas,  Aug.  1854  to  June  1855.     MS. 

2  vols.     In  U.  S.  Navy  Department.     Washington,  D.  C. 
Roquefeuil  (Camille),  Journal  d'un  Voyage  autour  du  Monde,  1816-19.    Paris, 

1823.  2  vols. ;  Voyage  round  the  World,  1816-19.     London,  1823. 
Roseburg  (Or.),  Western  Star. 
Ross  (John),  Narrative  of  a  second  voyage  in  search  of  a  N.  W.  Passage. 

London,  1835. 
Ross  Colony,  Documents  relating  to.     In  Russian  Amer.  Col.  v. 
Rossi  [L'Abb6),  Souvenirs  d'un  Voyage  en  Oregon  et  en  Califomie.     Paris, 

Rotchef  (Alex.),  Deed  of  Ross  to  Sutter,  1841.     MS. 

Rothrock  (Joseph  T.),  Flora  of  Alaska.     In  Smithsonian  Report  1867.  433. 
Rouhaud  (Hippolyte),  Les  Regions  Nouvelles.     Paris,  1868. 
Russia.     Imperial  Geographical  Society.    St  Petersburg,  etc.,  1863  et  seq. 
Russia,  Official  Documents.     Department  of  Foreign  Affairs;  Ministry  of  the 

Interior;  Ministry  of  War. 
Russia,  Treaty  with.  Report  of  Committee  of  Foreign  Affairs,  May  18,  1868. 

[40th  Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  H.  Report  37.]    Washington,  1868. 
Russian  America,  A  Collection.  7  vols.     MS. 
Russian  America,  Message  of  the  President  of  the  U.  S.  Feb.  17,  1868.   [40th 

Cong.,  2d  Sess.,  H.  Ex.  Doc.  177.]    Washington,  1868. 
Russian  American  Company,  Archives.     St  Petersburg,  1799-1867. 
Russian  American  Company,  Charters  of  1799,  1821,   1842.     In  Tikhmenef 

1st.  Oboz.  and  Materialui. 
Russian  American  Fur  Company,  Accounts,  1847-50.     MS. 
Russian  American   Telegraph,  Statement  of  the  Origin,  Organisation,  etc, 

Rochester,  1866. 

Sacramento  (Cal.),  Bee,  Record,  Record-Union,  Reporter. 

Saint  Amant  (M.  de).  Voyages  en  Califomie  et  dans  FOr^gon.    Paris,  1854, 

Saint  Petersburg,  Archives  of  History. 

Salem  (Or.),  Capital,  Chronicle.  Mercury,  Oregon  Statesman,  Record. 

Salt  Lake  City,  Herald. 

Salvatierra  (Juan  Maria),  Cuatro  Cartas  sobre  misiones  en  Californias,  Nov. 

1697.^  In  Doc.  Hist.  Mcx.,  serie  ii.,  torn.  i.  103;  Informe  al  Virey,  May 

25,  1705.     In  Venegas,  Noticia  ii. 
Sammlung  aller  Reisebeschi-eibungen.     Leipzig,  1747-74.  4to.  21  vols. 
San  Francisco  Newspapers.    Alaska  Appeal,  Alaska  Herald,  Alaska  Tribune, 

Alta  California,  Argonaut,  Call,  Christian  Advocate,  Chronicle,  Com- 


mercial  Herald  and  Market  Review,  Evening  Bulletin,  Examiner,  Golden 
Era,  Herald,  Journal  of  Commerce,  Mining  and  Scientific  Press,  News 
Letter,  Occident,  Pacific  Churchman,  Pacific  Rural  Press,  Post,  Scientific 
Press,  Stars  and  Stripes,  Temperance  Advocate,  Times,  Tribune. 

San  Jos6  (Cal. ),  Argus,  Mercury,  Patriot,  Santa  Clara  Argus. 

Sankt  Petersburger  Kalender  1750,  et  seq. 

San  Luis  Obispo  (Cal.),  Tribune. 

Santa  Barbara  (Cal.),  Press. 

Santa  Clara  (Cal.),  News. 

Santa  Cruz  (Cal. ),  County  Times,  Sentinel. 

Sarychef  (Gavrila  A.),  Puteshestvie  i  korabl  Othrytie.  [Voyage  of  sloop 
Otkn/tie.]     St  Petersburg,  1802.  4to.  2  vols. 

Sauer  (Martin),  Account  of  a  Geographical  and  Astronomical  Expedition  to 
the  Northern  Parts  of  Russia.     London,  1802. 

Scala  (Comte  de).  Influence  de  I'Ancien  Comptoir  Russe  en  California.  In 
Nouv.  An.  Voy.,  cxliv.  375. 

Scamnion  (Charles  M. ),  Cod-Fishery,  in  Overland,  iv.  436;  Fur  Seals,  in 
Overland,  iii.  393;  Whaling,  Northern,  in  Overland,  v.  548;  A  Russian 
Boat- Voyage,  in  Overland,  xv.  554. 

Scherer  (Jean  B.),  Recherches  Historiques  et  Geqgraphiques  sur  le  Nouveau 
Monde.     Paris,  1777. 

Schlozer  (August  L.),  AUgemeine  Geschichte  von  dem  Norden.     Halle,  1771. 

Schmcilder  (Capt.  B.),  Neuer  Praktischer  Wegweiser  fiir  Nord-Amerika. 
Mainz,  1849. 

Seattle  (Wash.),  Intelligencer,  Pacific  Tribune,  Piiget  Sound  Dispatch. 

Seeman  (Berthold),  Narrative  of  the  Voyage  of  the  Herald  1845-51.  Loudon, 
1853.  2  vols. 

Seward  (William  H.),  Communication  upon  the  subject  of  an  intercontinental 
telegraph.  Wash.,  1864;  Our  North  Pacific  States  (Speeches),  Aug.  1869. 
Wash.,  1869. 

Sgibnef  (Alex.  S.),  Istoricheskie  Ocherki.  [Historical  Sketches.]  In  Morskoi 
Sbornik,  vol  ci-ciii. 

Shabelski  (Achille),  Voyageaux  colonies  russes  1821-23.    St  Petersburg,  1826. 

Shaw  (Francis  A.),  Brief  History  of  Russia.     Boston,  1877. 

Shelikof  (Grigor),  Pervoie  Stranstvovanie,  etc.  [First  Voyages  of  the  Russian 
Merchants,  1783  and  1787.]  St  Petersburg,  1790;  Proilolshenie  [Further 
Voyages  1788].  St  Petersburg,  1792;  Puteshestoie  [Voyages].  St  Peters- 
burg, 1812. 

Sibir  Zolotni  Dno.     [Siberia's  Golden  Soil.]     St  Petersburg,  1768  et  seq. 

Sibirskaia  Istoria.     [History  of  Siberia.]     St  Petersburg,  1759  et  seq. 

Sibirskye  Viestnik  [Siberian  Messenger].     St  Petersburg,  1818  et  seq. 

Simmonds  (P.  L.),  Sir  John  Franklin  and  the  Arctic  Regions.     Buffalo,  1852, 

Simpson  (Sir  George),  Narrative  of  a  Journey  round  the  World.  London, 
1847.  2  vols. 

Sitka,  Alaska  Times,  MS.  and  print;  Post,  MS.  and  print. 

Sitka  Archives.  In  Library  of  Department  of  State,  Washington,  D.  C. 
1802-67.  182  vols.  MS. 

Smithsonian  Institution,  Annual  Reports.     Washington,  1853  et  seq. 

Sobranie  Sochinenie  (Literary  Collections).     St  Petersburg,  1760  et  seq.      * 

Soci6t6  de  Geographic,  Bulletin.     Paris,  1825  et  seq. 

Sokolof  (Alexander),  Bering  and  Chirikof.  St  Petersburg,  1849;  Istoria 
Severn j'ikh  Puteshestviy  [History  of  Northern  expeditions  173.3-43],  in 
Zapiski  Hydr.  ix. ;  Khvostof  and  Davidof,  in  Zapiski  Hydr.  x. ;  ProVsk- 
hoshdenie  Okhotska  [Origin  of  Okhotsk],  in  JNlorskoi  Sbornik;  Zame- 
clianiy  o  Severnikh  Ekspeditziy  1738-43  [Remarks  on  the  Account  of 
the  northern  expeditions  of  17.S3-43],  in  Morskoi  Sbornik;  Russische 
Entdeckungsreisen  nach  dem  nordostlichen  Asieu,  etc.     Berlin,  1855. 

Sokolof  (Vasili),  Voyage  of  Alexander  Markoff  from  Okhotsk  to  Cal.,  1835. 

Sonora  (Cal.)  Herald,  Union  Democrat. 


Southeastern  Alaska,  Memorial  of  the  people  to  the  President  and  Congress 

of  the  U.  S.  Aug.  16,  1881.,  1881. 
Southern  Quarterly  Eeview.     New  Orleans  etc.,  1842  et  seq. 
Spanberg,  Journal,  in  Tobolsk  Archives,  quoted  by  Sokolof.    In  Zapiski  Hydr. 
Sparks  (Jared),  Life  of  John  Ledyard.     Cambridge,  1828. 
Staehlin  (J.  von),  An  Account  of  the  New  Northern  Archipelago.     London, 

State  Papers,  Sacramento.     MS.,  19  vols,  in  Archivo  de  Cal. ;  Id.,  Missions 

and  Colonization.  2  vols. 
Steller  (George  W.),  Beschreibung  von  dem  Lande  Kamtschatka.    Frankfurt, 

etc.,  1774;  Reise  von  Kamtschatka nach  A merika.    St.  Petersburg,  1793. 
Stevens  (Isaac  I.),  Northwest  America,  address  Dec.  2,  1858.     Washington, 

Stockton  (Cal.),  Gazette,  Herald,  Independent,  San  Joaquin  Republican. 
Sturgis  (William),  Northwest  Fur  Trade.     In  Hunt's  Merch.  Mag.,  xiv.  532. 
Sturgis  (William),  Remarks  on  Northwest  Coast.     MS.     [In  possession  of 

Dr  Emil  Bessels.  ]     Washington,  D.  C. 
Sumner  (Chai'les),  Speech  on  the  Cession  of  Russian  America  to  the  U.  S. 

Washington,  1867. 
Sutil  y  Mexicana,  Relacion  del  Viage  hecho  por  las  Goletas.     Madrid,  1802. 

atlas.  4to. 
Sutter  (John  A.),  Examination  of  the  Russian  Grant.     Sacramento,  1860. 
Sutter  (John  A.),  Personal  Recollections.     MS. 

Syn  Otechestva.     [Son  of  the  Fatherland.]     St  Petersburg,  1820  et  seq. 
Synd,  see  Berg  (Vasili),  KhronologicheskaTa  Istoria,  etc.    St  Peterburg,  1820. 

Taylor  (Alexander  S.),  Historical  Summary  of  Lower  California.  In  Browne's 
Min.  Res.;  Specimens  of  the  Press.     [In  S.  F.  Mercantile  Library.] 

Taylor  (James  W.),  Northwest  British  America.     St  Paul,  1860. 

Tchitchinof  (Zakahar),  Adventures  of  an  Employ^  of  the  Russian  American 
Fur  Company.     1802-78.  MS. 

Tebenkof  (MikhaTl  D.),  Atlas  of  the  Northwest  Coast  of  America.  St  Peters- 
burg, 1852. 

Teleskop  (The  Telescope).     Moscow,  1825  et  seq. 

Thornton  (J.  Quinn),  Oregon  and  California  in  1848.     N.  Y.,  1849.  2  vols. 

Thomas  (George  H.),  Report  of  tour  in  Alaska,  1869.  [41st  Cong.,  2d  Sess., 
H.  Ex.  Doc.  1.]    Washington,  1869. 

Tikhmenef  (P.),  Istoricheskoie  Obozranie  Obrazovanie  Rossiysko  Amerikan- 
skoi  Kompaniy  [Historical  review  of  the  origin  of  the  Russian  American 
Company].     St  Petersburg,  1861,  1863.  2  vols. 

Tilling,  Reise  un  die  Welt.     Aschaffenburg,  1854. 

Tobolsk  Archives.    In  Zapiski  Hydr. 

Tooke  (William),  View  of  the  Russian  Empire.     Dublin,  1801.  3  vols. 

Truman  (Benjamin  C),  Occidental  Sketches.     San  Francisco,  1881. 

Tulubief  (Irenarkh),  Puteshestvie  shloo-pa.  ApoUona,  1821-24.  [Voyage  of  the 
Apollun,  1821-24.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.,  viii. 

Tuscarora  (Nev.),  Times  Review. 

Tuthill  (Franklin),  History  of  California.     San  Francisco,  1866. 

Twiss  (Travers),  The  Oregon  Question.  London,  1846;  The  Oregon  Terri- 
tory,    New  York,  1846. 

Tyler  (Robert  0.),  Revised  outline  descriptions  of  the  posts  and  stations  of 
troops  in  the  military  division  of  the  Pacific.     San  Francisco,  1872, 

Tytler  (Patrick  Eraser),  Historical  View  of  the  Progress  of  Discovery,  Edin- 
burgh, 1833;  New  York,  1855. 

Ukiah  (Cal.),  Democratic  Dispatch,  Mendocino  Democrat,  Mendocino  Her- 
Umfrevllle  (Edward),  The  Present  State  of  Hudson's  Bay,     London,  1790. 
Unionville  (Nev.),  Register, 


United  States  Coast  and  Geodetic  Survey,  C.  P.  Patterson  Supt.  Pacific 
Coast  Pilot,  Alaska.     Washington,  1879. 

United  States  Exploring  Expedition  [Wilkes].  Philadelphia,  1844-58.  4to, 
17  vols.;  folio,  8  vols. 

United  States  Geological  Surveys  of  the  Territories,  F.  V.  Hayden.  Annual 
Reports,  BuUetius,  Miscellaneous  Publications,  etc.  Washington,  1872 
ct  seq. 

United  States  Geological  and  Geographical  Surveys,  J.  W.  Powell.  Contri- 
butions to  North  American  Ethnology.     Washington,  1876. 

United  States  Government  Documents.  Agriculture,  Bureau  of  Statistics, 
Census,  Coast  Survey,  Commerce  and  Navigation,  Commercial  Relations, 
Education,  Finance,  Indian  Alfairs,  Interior,  Land  Office,  Navy  Report 
of  Secretary,  Postmaster  General,  Secretary  of  War,  Signal  Service  Re- 
ports, Treasury.     Cited  by  their  dates. 

United  States  Government  Documents.  House  Exec.  Doc,  House  Journal, 
House  Miscel.  Doc,  House  Reports  of  Com.,  Message  and  Documents, 
Senate  Exec.  Doc,  Journal,  Miscel.  Doc,  Repts.  Com.  Cited  by  con- 
gress and  session.  Many  of  these  documents  have,  however,  separate 
titles,  for  which  see  author  or  topic. 

Vallejo  (Jose  de  Jesus),  Reminiscencias  Hist6rica.  MS. 
Vallejo  (Mariano  G.),  Correspondencia  Historica.  MS. 
Vallejo  (Mariano  G.),  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  California,  17G9-1850, 

MS.  37  vols. 
Vancouver  (George),  Voyage  of  Discovery  to  the  Pacific  Ocean.    Lond.,  1798. 

3  vols.  4to.  atlas  in  folio;  Lond.,  1801.  6  vols.;  Voyage  et  Decouvertes 

d  rOc^an  Pacifique,  etc.     Paris,  An.,  viii.  3  vols.  4to.  atlas  in  folio. 
Vassilief  (Ivan  P. ),  Vuipiski  iz  Zhurnale  etc.     [Extract  from  log-book  of  ship 

Finland.]    In  Novosti  Literatura,  1823,  vi. 
Vassilief  (Mikhail  N.),  O  plavanie,  etc.     [Voyage  of  Otkruitie  and  Dobroie 

Namerenie.]    In  Syn  Otechestva,  1820. 
Venegas  (Miguel),  Noticia  de  la  California  y  de  su  Conquista  Temporal,  etc. 

Madrid,  1757.  3  vols. 
Veniamiuof  (loann),  Sclireiben  aus  Kamtschatka  [from  the  Moskow  Viedo- 

most];   Zapisky   ob   Ostrovakh   Oonalashkinskago   Otdiela   [Letters   on 

Islands  of  Unalaska  District].     St  Petersburg,  1840.  2  vols. 
'Veritas,'  Examination  of  the  Russian  Grant,,  n.d.;  Is  the  trade  of 

Alaska  to  be  wrested  from  general  competition,   etc.     San   Francisco, 

Viagero  Universal  (El).     Madrid,  1796-1801.  43  vols. 
Viages  en  la  Costa  al  Norte  de  Californias.     Copy  fK)m  Spanish  Archives. 

MS.  [From  Prof.  Geo.  Davidson.] 
Victoria  (B.  C),  British  Colonist,  Chronicle,  Express,  Standard. 
Villavicencio  (Juan  J.),  Vida  y  Virtudes  de  el  venerable  P.  Juan  de  Ugarte. 

Mexico,  1752. 
Virginia  (Nev.),  Evening  Chronicle,  Territorial  Enterprise. 
Voyages,  Historical  Account  of,  round  the  World.     Lond.,  1774-81.  6  vols.; 

New  Collection.     London,  1767.  7  vols. 

Wallace  (D.  Mackenzie),  Russia.     New  York,  1878. 

Walla  Walla  (Wash.),  Statesman. 

Ward  (James  C),  Three  Weeks  in  Sitka.     MS. 

W^ashington  (D.  C.),  Capital,  Chronicle,  Critic,  Evening  Star,  Morning  News, 
Post,  Tribune. 

Westdahl  (Ferdinand),  Alaska.     MS. 

White  (J.  W.),  A  Cruise  in  Alaska  [40th  Cong.,.  3d  Sess.,  Sen.  Ex.  Doc  8], 
Washington,  1869. 

Whitney  (J.  D.),  Notice  of  the  Mountain  Heights  in  the  U.  S^  San  Fran- 
cisco, 1862. 


Whymper  (Frederick),  Journey  from  Norton  Sound  to  Fort  Yukon.  In  Loud. 
Geog.  Soc.  Jour.,  xxxviii.  219;  Travel  and  Adventure  in  the  Territory  of 
Alaska.  New  York,  1869;  Voyage  et  Aventures  dans  I'Alaska.  Paris, 

Wilkes  (Charles),  Narrative  of  the  U.  S.  Exploring  Expedition.  Philadel- 
phia, 1844,  4to.  3  vols. ;  Philadelphia,  1845,  5  vols,  j  London,  1845. 

Woodland  (Cal.),  News,  Yolo  Democrat. 

Wrangell  (Ferdinand  P.),  The  Americans  of  Upper  California.  In  Teleskop, 
1835,  Sketch  of  a  Journey  from  Sitka  to  St  Petersburg.  St  Petersburg, 
1836;  Statistische  und  Ethnographische  nachrichten  liber  die  Russischen 
Besitzungen.  St  Petersburg,  1839;  Voyage  to  the  northern  shores  of 
Siberia,  etc.,  1820-24.     St  Petersburg,  1841. 

Wythe  (W.  T.),  Cook's  Inlet.  In  Overland,  xiii.  64;  Kodiak  and  Southern 
Alaska.     In  Id.,  viii.  505. 

Yermolof  (M. ),  Extrait  d'une  note  sur  I'Amerique  russe.     In  Nouv.  An.  Voy., 

Yezhemesiechnaie    Sochinenie    [Monthly    Magazine].     St    Petersburg,   1759 

et  seq. 
Yreka  (Cal.),  Journal,  Union. 
Yuba  City  (Cal.),  Sutter  Banner,  Sutter  County  Sentinel. 

Zabriskie  (James  C),  The  Public  Land  Laws  of  the  U.  S.  San  Francisco, 
1870;  Supplement.     San  Francisco,  1877. 

Zagoskin  (A.),  Pieshekhodnaia  Opis  Ohasty  Russkikh  Vladeniy  v  Ameriku 
[Pedestrian  Exploration  of  Parts  of  the  Russian  Possessions  in  America, 
1842-4].     St  Petersburg,  1847,  2  vols. 

Zaikof  (Stepan),  Kratkoie  obozranie  puteshestviy  na  Ostrovakh,  etc.  [Sum- 
mary of  the  voyages  to  the  islands  situated  between  Asia  and  America.  J 
In  Sobranie  Soch. 

Zapiski  Admiralteistkago  Departamenta.  [Journal  of  the  Admiralty  Depart- 
ment.]    St  Petersburg,  1807  et  seq. 

Zapiski  Hydrograficheskago  Departamenta.  [Journal  of  Hydrographic  De- 
partment.]    St  Petersburg,  1842  et  seq. 

Zapiski  Russkago  Geograticheskago  Obshestva.  [Publications  of  the  Russiaa 
Geographical  Society.]     St  Petersburg,  1838  et  seq. 

Zapiski  ucheuago  komiteta  morskago  shtaba.  [Journal  of  Committee  on  In- 
struction of  Naval  Staff.]     St  Petersburg,  1828  et  seq. 

Zarembo  (Dionis  F. ),  Puteshestvie  iz  Khronshtadta  do  Sitkhi,  1840-41.  [Voy- 
age from  Kronstadt  to  Sitka,  1840-41.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.  viii. 

Zavalishin  (Dmitri  I.),  Dielo  o  Koloniy  Ross  (Affairs  of  the  Ross  Colony). 
Moskow,  18G6. 

Zcloniy  (N.),  Correspondence.     In  Sitka  Archives,  MS.,  vols,  i.-vii. 

Zhumal  departamenta  narodnago  prosvieshchenia.  [Journal  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Public  Instruction.]    St  Petersburg,  1822  et  seq. 



Whymper  (Frederick),  Journey  from  Xorton  Sound  to  Fort  Yukon.  In  Lona. 
Geog.  Soc.  Jour.,  xxx^^ii.  219;  Travel  and  Adventure  in  the  Territory  of 
Alaska.  New  York,  1S69;  Voyage  et  Aventures  dans  I'Alaska.  Paris, 

Wilkes  (Charles),  Narrative  of  the  U.  S.  Exploring  Expedition.  Philadel- 
phia, 1844,  4to.  3  vols.;  Philadelphia,  1845,  5  vols.;  London,  1845. 

Woodland  (Cal.),  News,  Yolo  Democrat. 

Wrangell  (Ferdinand  P.),  The  Americans  of  Upper  California.  InTeleskop, 
1835,  Sketch  of  a  Journey  from  Sitka  to  St  Petersburg.  St  Petersburg, 
1836;  Statistische  und  Ethnographische  nachrichten  iiber  die  Russischen 
Besitzungen.  St  Petersburg,  1839;  Voyage  to  the  northern  shores  of 
Siberia,  etc.,  1820-24.     St  Petersburg,  1841. 

Wythe  (W.  T.),  Cook's  Inlet.  In  Overland,  xiii.  64;  Kodiak  and  Southern 
Alaska.     In  Id.,  viii.  505. 

Yermolof  (M. ),  Extrait  d'une  note  sur  I'Amerique  russe.     In  Nouv.  An.  Voy., 

Yezhemesiechnaie   Sochinenie    [Monthly   Magazine].     St    Petersburg,  1759 

et  seq. 
Yreka  (Cal.),  Journal,  Union. 
Yuba  City  (Cal.),  Sutter  Banner,  Sutter  County  Sentinel. 

Zabriskie  (James  C),  The  Public  Land  Laws  of  the  U.  S.  San  Francisco, 
1870;  Supplement.     San  Francisco,  1877. 

Zagoskin  (A.),  Pieshekhodnaia  Opis  Cliasty  Russkikh  Vladeniy  v  Ameriku 
[Pedestrian  Exploration  of  Parts  of  the  Russian  Possessions  in  America, 
1842-4].     St  Petersburg,  1847,  2  vols. 

Zaikof  (Stepan),  Kratkoie  obozranie  puteshestviy  na  Ostrovakh,  etc.  [Sum- 
mary of  the  voyages  to  the  islands  situated  between  Asia  and  America.} 
In  Sobranie  Soch. 

Zapiski  Admiralteistkago  Departamenta.  [Journal  of  the  Admiralty  Depart- 
ment.]    St  Petersburg,  1807  et  seq. 

Zapiski  Hydrograficheskago  Departamenta.  [Journal  of  Hydrographic  De- 
partment.]    St  Petersburg,  1842  et  seq. 

Zapiski  Russkago  Geogi-aticheskago  Obshestva.  [Publications  of  the  Russian. 
Geographical  Society.]     St  Petersburg,  1838  et  seq. 

Zapiski  uchenago  komiteta  morskago  shtaba.  [Journal  of  Committee  on  In- 
struction of  Naval  Staff.]     St  Petersburg,  1828  et  seq. 

Zarembo  (Dionis  F. ),  Puteshestvie  iz  Khronshtadta  do  Sitklii,  1840-41.  [Voy- 
age from  Kronstadt  to  Sitka,  1840-41.]     In  Zapiski  Hydr.  viii. 

Zavalishin  (Dmitri  I.),  Dielo  o  Koloniy  Ross  (Afifairs  of  the  Ross  Colony). 
]\Ioskow,  1866. 

Zcloniy  (N.),  CoiTespondence.     In  Sitka  Archives,  MS.,  vols,  i.-vii. 

Zhumal  dei^artamenta  narodnago  prosvieshchenia.  [Journal  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Public  Instruction.]    St  Petersburg,  1822  et  seq. 





Russia's  Share  in  America — Physical  Features  of  Alaska — Configura- 
tion AND  Climate — The  Southern  Crescent— The  Tumbled  Moun- 
tains— Volcanoes  and  Islands — Vegetation— California- Japan  Cur- 
rent— Arctic  Seaboard  and  the  Interior — Condition  and  Charac- 
ter OF  the  Russians  in  the  Sixteenth  Century — Serfs,  Merchants, 
AND  Nobles— The  Fur  Currency— Foreign  Commercial  Relations — 
England  in  the  White  and  Caspian  Seas— Eastern  Progress  of 
the  Russian  Empire — The  North-east  Passage. 

In  the  great  seizure  and  partition  of  America  by 
European  powers  there  was  no  reason  why  Kussia 
should  not  have  a  share.  She  was  mistress  in  the 
east  and  north  as  were  France  and  Spain  in  the  west 
and  south;  she  was  as  grasping  as  Portugal  and  as 
cold  and  cruel  as  England;  and  because  she  owned  so 
much  of  Europe  and  Asia  in  the  Arctic,  the  desire 
was  only  increased  thereby  to  extend  her  broad  belt 
quite  round  the  world.  It  was  but  a  step  across  from 
one  continent  to  the  other,  and  intercourse  between 
the  primitive  peoples  of  the  two  had  been  common 
from  time  immemorial.  It  was  but  natural,  I  say,  in 
the  gigantic  robbery  of  half  a  world,  that  Russia 
should  have  a  share;  and  had  she  been  quicker  about 
it,  the  belt  might  as  well  have  been  continued  to 
Greenland  and  Iceland. 

Geographically,  Alaska  is  the  northern  end  of  the 
long  Cordillera  which  begins  at  Cape  Horn,  extends 



through  the  two  Americas,  and  is  here  joined  by  the 
Nevada-Cascade  range;  the  Coast  Range  from  Lower 
CaHfornia  breaking  into  islands  before  reaching  this 
point.  It  is  not  always  and  altogether  that  cold  and 
desolate  region  which  sometimes  has  been  pictured, 
and  which  from  its  position  we  might  expect.  Its 
configuration  and  climate  are  exceedingly  varied. 
The  southern  seaboard  is  comparatively  mild  and 
habitable;  the  northern  frigid  and  inhospitable. 

Standing  at  Mount  St  Elias  as  the  middle  of  a  cres- 
cent, we  see  the  shore-line  stretching  out  in  either 
direction,  toward  the  south-east  and  the  south-west, 
ending  in  the  former  at  Dixon  Inlet,  and  in  the  latter 
sweeping  off  and  breaking  into  mountainous  islands  as 
it  continues  its  course  toward  Kamchatka.  It  is  a 
most  exceedingly  rough  and  uncouth  country,  this 
part  of  it;  the  shore-line  being  broken  into  fragments, 
with  small  and  great  islands  guarding  the  labyrinth  of 
channels,  bays,  sounds,  and  inlets  that  line  the  main- 
land. Back  of  these  rise  abruptly  vast  and  rugged 
mountains,  the  two  great  continental  chains  coming 
together  here  as  if  in  final  struggle  for  the  mastery. 
The  coast  range  along  the  Pacific  shore  of  Alaska 
attains  an  elevation  in  places  of  eight  or  nine  thou- 
sand feet,  lying  for  the  most  part  under  perpetual 
snow,  with  here  and  there  glistening  white  peaks  four- 
teen or  sixteen  thousand  feet  above  the  sea.  And  the 
ruggedness  of  this  Sitkan  or  southern  seaboard,  the 
thirty-miles  strip  as  it  is  sometimes  called,  with  the 
Alexander  archipelago,  continues  as  we  pass  on,  to 
the  Alaskan  -Mountains  and  the  Aleutian  archipelago. 
It  is  in  the  Alaskan  Range  that  nature  assumes  the 
heroic,  that  the  last  battle  of  the  mountains  appears 
to  have  been  fought.  The  din  of  it  has  as  yet  hardly 
passed  away;  the  great  peaks  of  the  range  stand 
there  proudly  triumphant  but  still  angry;  grumbling, 
smoking,  and  spitting  fire,  they  gaze  upon  their  fallen 
foes  of  the  archipelago,  giants  like  themselves,  though 
now  submerged,   sunken  in  the   sea,   if  not   indeed 


hurled  thence  by  their  victorious  rivals.  These  great 
towering  volcanic  peaks  and  the  quaking  islands  are 
superb  beyond  description,  filling  the  breast  of  the 
beholder  with  awe.  And  the  ground  about,  though 
cold  enough  upon  the  surface,  steams  and  sweats  in 
sympathy,  manifesting  its  internal  warmth  in  geysers 
and  hot  springs,  while  from  the  depths  of  the  sea 
sometimes  belches  forth  fire,  if  certain  navigators  may 
be  believed,  and  the  sky  blazes  in  northern  lights. 

All  along  this  sweep  of  southern  seaboard  Euro- 
peans may  dwell  in  comfort  if  so  inclined.  Even  in 
midwinter  the  cold  is  seldom  severe  or  of  long  dura- 
tion. An  average  temperature  is  42°,  though  ex- 
tremes have  been  named  for  certain  localities  of  from 
19°  to  58°,  and  again  from  58°  below  zero  in  January, 
to  95°  in  summer.  Winter  is  stormy,  the  winds  at  Sitka 
at  this  season  being  usually  easterly,  those  from  the 
south  bringing  rain  and  snow.  When  the  wind  is  from 
the  north-west  the  sky  is  clear,  and  the  cold  nights 
are  often  lighted  by  the  display  of  the  aurora  borealis. 
Winter  breaks  up  in  March,  and  during  the  clear  cold 
days  of  April  the  boats  go  out  after  furs.  Yet,  for  a 
good  portion  of  the  year  there  is  an  universal  and  dis- 
mal dampness — fogs  interminable  and  drizzling  rain; 
clouds  thick  and  heavy  and  low-lying,  giving  a  w^ater 
fall  of  six  or  eight  feet  in  thickness. 

Much  of  the  soil  is  fertile,  though  in  places  wet. 
Behind  a  low^  wooded  seaboard  often  rise  abruptly  icy 
steeps,  with  here  and  there  between  the  glacier  canons 
broad  patches  of  sphagnum  one  or  two  feet  thick,  and 
well  saturated  with  water.  The  perpetual  snow-line 
of  the  Makushin  volcano  is  three  thousand  feet  above 
the  sea,  and  vegetation  ceases  at  an  altitude  of  twenty- 
five  hundred  feet.  Grain  does  not  ripen,  but  grasses 
thrive  almost  everywhere  on  the  lowlands.  Berries 
are  plentiful,  particularly  cranberries,  though  the  sun- 
light is  scarcely  strong  enough  to  flavor  them  well. 
Immense  spruce  forests  tower  over  Prince  William 
Sound  and  about  Sitka.     Kadiak  is  a  good  grazing 


country,  capable  of  sustaining  large  droves  of  cattle. 
On  the  Aleutian  Islands  trees  do  not  grow,  but  the 
grasses  are  luxuriant.  In  a  word,  here  in  the  far 
north  we  find  a  vegetation  rightly  belonging  to  a  much 
lower  latitude. 

The  warm  Japan  current  which  comes  up  along 
tne  coast  of  Asia,  bathing  the  islands  of  the  Aleutian 
archipelago  as  it  crosses  the  Pacific  and  washing  the 
shores  of  America  far  to  the  southward,  transforms 
the  whole  region  from  what  would  otherwise  be  inhos- 
pitable into  a  habitation  fit  for  man.  Arising  off  the 
inner  and  outer  shores  of  Lower  California,  this  stream 
first  crosses  the  Pacific  as  the  great  northern  equa- 
torial current,  passing  south  of  the  Hawaiian  Islands- 
and  on  to  the  coast  of  Asia,  deflecting  northward  as 
it  goes,  and  after  its  grand  and  life-compelling  sweep 
slowly  returns  to  its  starting-point.  It  is  this  that 
clothes  temperate  isles  in  tropical  vegetation,  makes 
the  silk-worm  flourish  far  north  of  its  rightful  home, 
and  sends  joy  to  the  heart  of  the  hyperborean,  even 
to  him  upon  the  strait  of  Bering,  and  almost  to  the 
Arctic  sea.  It  is  this  that  thickly  covers  the  steep 
mountain  sides  to  the  height  of  a  thousand  feet  and 
more  with  great  growths  of  spruce,  alder,  willow, 
hemlock,  and  yellow  cedar.  It  is  the  striking  of  this 
warm  current  of  air  and  water  against  the  cold  shores 
of  the  north  that  causes  nature  to  steam  up  in  thick 
fogs  and  dripping  moisture, and  compels  the  surcharged 
clouds  to  drop  their  torrents. 

Chief  among  the  fur-bearing  animals  is  the  sea- 
otter,  in  the  taking  of  whose  life  the  lives  of  thou- 
sands of  human  beings  have  been  laid  down.  Of  fish 
there  are  cod,  herring,  halibut,  and  salmon,  in  abun- 
dance.    The  whale  and  the  walrus  abound  in  plsfces. 

Go  back  into  the  interior  if  you  can  get  there,,  or 
round  by  the  Alaskan  shore  north  of  the  islands, 
along  Bering  sea  and  strait,  which  separate  Asia  and 
America  and  indent  the  eastern  border  with  great 
bays  into  which  flow  rivers,  one  of  them,  the  Yukon, 


liaving  its  sources  far  back  in  British  Columbia;  ascend 
this  stream,  or  traverse  the  country  between  it  and  the 
Arctic  Ocean,  and  you  will  find  quite  a  different  order 
of  things.  Clearer  skies  are  there,  and  drier,  colder 
airs,  and  ice  eternal.  Along  the  Arctic  shore  runs  a 
line  of  hills  in  marked  contrast  to  the  mountains  of 
the  southern  seaboard.  Between  these  ranges  flow 
the  Yukon  with  its  tributaries,  the  Kuskokvim,  Sela- 
Avik,  and  other  streams. 

Mr  Petrof,  who  traversed  this  region  in  1880, 
says  of  it:  "  Here  is  an  immense  tract  reaching  from 
Bering  strait  in  a  succession  of  rolling  ice-bound 
moors  and  low  mountain  ranges,  for  seven  hundred 
miles  an  unbroken  waste,  to  the  boundary  line  between 
lis  and  British  America.  Then,  again,  from  the  crests 
of  Cook's  Inlet  and  the  flanks  of  Mount  St  Elias 
northward  over  that  vast  area  of  rugged  mountain 
and  lonely  moor  to  the  east,  nearly  eight  hundred 
miles,  is  a  great  expanse  of  country ...  by  its  position 
barred  out  from  occupation '  and  settlement  by  our 
own  people.  The  climatic  conditions  are  such  that 
its  immense  area  will  remain  undisturbed  in  the  pos- 
session of  its  savage  occupants,  man  and  beast." 

Before  speaking  of  the  European  discovery  and 
conquest  of  Alaska,  let  us  briefly  glance  at  the  con- 
dition and  character  of  those  about  to  assume  the 
mastery  here. 

It  was  in  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century  that 
the  Russians  under  Ivan  Vassilievich,  the  Terrible, 
threw  off  the  last  yoke  of  Tartar  Khans ;  but  with  the 
independence  of  the  nation  thus  gained,  the  free  cities, 
principalities,  and  provinces  lost  all  trace  of  their 
former  liberties.  An  empire  had  been  wrung  from 
the  grasp  of  foreign  despots,  but  only  to  be  held  by  a 
despotism  more  cruel  than  ever  had  been  the  Tartar 
domination.  Ignorance,  superstition,  and  servitude 
were  the  normal  condition  of  the  lower  classes.  The 
nation  could  scarcely  be  placed  within  the  category 


of  civilization.  While  in  Spain  the  ruling  spirit  was 
fanaticism,  in  Russia  it  was  despotism. 

Progress  was  chained;  if  any  sought  to  improve 
their  lot  they  dared  not  show  their  gains  lest  their 
master  should  take  them.  And  the  people  thus  long 
accustomed  to  abject  servility  and  concealment  ac- 
quired the  habit  of  dissimulation  to  a  remarkable 
degree.  There  was  no  recognition  of  the  rights  of 
man,  and  little  of  natural  morality.  It  was  a  prees- 
tablished  and  fundamental  doctrine  that  the  weaker 
were  slaves  of  the  stronger.  In  feudal  times  the  main 
difference  between  the  lowest  class  in  Russia  and  in 
other  parts  of  Europe  was  that  the  former  were  not 
bound  to  the  soil.  Their  condition  however  was  none 
the  less  abject,  their  slavery  if  possible  was  more  com- 
plete. And  what  is  not  a  little  singular  in  following 
the  progress  of  nations,  Russia,  about  the  beginning 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  introduced  this  custom  of 
binding  men  to  lands,  just  when  the  other  states  of 
Europe  were  abolishing  it.  Freemen  were  authorized 
by  law  to  sell  themselves.  Insolvent  debtors  became 
the  property  of  their  creditors.  And  howsoever  bound, 
men  could  obtain  their  liberty  only  by  purchase. 

Women,  even  of  the  better  class,  were  held  in  ori- 
ental seclusion,  and  treated  as  beasts;  husbands  and 
fathers  might  torture  and  kill  them,  and  sell  the  off- 
spring, but  if  a  wife  killed  her  husband  she  was  buried 
up  to  the  neck  and  left  to  starve. 

Pewter  was  unknown ;  only  wooden  dishes  were  in 
use.  Each  man  carried  a  knife  and  wooden  spoon  tied  to 
the  belt  or  sash.  Bedding  was  scarcely  used  at  court; 
among  rich  and  poor  alike  a  wooden  bench,  the  bare 
floor,  or  at  the  most  a  skin  of  bear  or  Avolf,  sufficed 
for  sleeping.  The  domestic  ties  were  loose;  since  the 
crimes  of  individuals  were  visited  upon  the  whole  kin- 
dred the  children  scattered  as  soon  as  they  were  able. 
The  lower  classes  had  but  a  single  name,  which  was 
conferred  in  baptism,  consequently  the  nearest  rela- 
tives soon  lost  sight  of  each  other  in  their  wandering 


life.  Subsequently  the  serfs  were  attached  to  the 
soil,  but  even  to  the  present  day  an  almost  irresistible 
disposition  to  rove  is  noticeable  among  the  Russian 

The  nobles,  reared  by  a  nation  of  slaves,  were  scarcely 
more  intelligent  than  they.  But  few  of  the  priests 
understood  Greek ;  and  reading  and  writing  even  among 
the  nobles  was  almost  unknown;  astronomy  and  anat- 
omy were  classed  among  the  diabolic  arts ;  calculations 
were  made  by  means  of  a  string  of  balls,  and  skins  of 
animals  were  the  currency.  Punishments  were  as 
barbarous  as  manners.  The  peculator  was  publicly 
branded  with  a  hot  iron,  then  sent  back  to  his  place, 
thus  dishonoring  himself  and  degrading  his  office. 
When  a  person  was  punished  for  crime,  all  the  mem- 
bers of  his  family  were  doomed  to  suffer  likewise. 
Every  Russian  who  strayed  beyond  the  frontier  be- 
came a  rebel  and  a  heathen. 

Nobles  alone  could  hold  land;  the  tillers  were  as 
slaves.  True,  a  middle  or  merchant  class  managed 
amidst  the  general  disruption  to  maintain  some  of 
their  ancient  privileges.  The  gosti,  or  wholesale  deal- 
ers, of  Moscow,  Novgorod,  and  Pleskovo  might  sit  at 
table  with  princes,  and  go  on  embassies;  they  were 
free  from  imposts  and  many  other  exactions.  Even  the 
small  traders  preserved  some  of  the  benefits  which  had 
originated  in  the  free  commercial  cities.  _  The  priests, 
seeing  their  influence  at  court  declining,  cultivated  the 
merchants,  and  married  among  their  families. 

Thus  all  combined  to  strengthen  the  trading  class 
as  compared  with  the  agricultural.  Taxes  and  salaries 
were  paid  in  furs;  in  all  old  charters  and  other  docu- 
ments penalties  and  rewards  are  given  in  furs.  The 
very  names  of  the  early  coins  of  Novgorod  point  to 
their  origin ;  we  see  there  the  grivernik  grivnui,  from 
the  mane  or  long  hairs  along  the  back;  the  oushka 
and  2^oloushka,  ear  and  half-ear.  This  feature  in  the 
national  economy  explains  to  a  certain  extent  the 
slow  spread  of  civilization  over  the  tsar's  dominions. 


In  a  country  where  furs  are  the  circulating  -medium, 
and  hence  the  great  desideratum,  the  people  must 
scatter  and  lead  a  savage  life. 

The  same  cause,  however,  which  impeded  social 
and  intellectual  development  furnished  a  stimulus  for 
the  future  aggrandizement  of  the  Muscovite  domain. 
For  more  than  two  and  a  half  centuries  the  Hanseatic 
League  had  monopolized  the  foreign  trade;  but  the 
decline  of  Novgorod,  the  growing  industry  of  the 
Livonian  cities,  and  the  appearance  of  the  ships  of 
other  countries  in  the  Baltic  were  already  threatening 
the  downfall  of  Hanseatic  commerce,  when  an  unex- 
pected discovery  made  the  English  acquainted  with  the 
White  Sea,  which  afforded  direct  intercourse  with  the 
inland  provinces  of  the  Russian  empire.  The  Hanse, 
by  its  superiority  in  the  Baltic,  had  excluded  all  other 
maritime  nations  from  Russian  commerce,  but  it  was 
beyond  the  reach  of  their  power  to  prevent  the  English 
from  sailing  to  the  White  Sea.  In  1553,  at  the  sug- 
gestion of  Sebastian  Cabot,  England  sent  three  vessels 
under  Sir  Hugh  Willoughby  in  search  of  a  north-east 
passage  to  China.  Two  of  the  vessels  were  lost,  and 
the  third,  commanded  by  Richard  Chancellor,  entered 
the  White  Sea.  No  sooner  did  he  know  that  the 
shore  was  Russia  than  Chancellor  put  on  a  bold  face 
and  said  he  had  come  to  establish  commercial  rela- 
tions. The  tsar,  informed  of  the  arrival  of  the  stran- 
gers, ordered  them  to  Moscow.  The  insolent  behavior 
of  the  Hanse  League  had  excited  the  tsar's  displeas- 
ure, and  he  was  only  too  glad  of  other  intercourse 
with  civilized  nations.  Every  encouragement  was 
offered  by  the  Russian  monarch,  and  trade  finally 
opened  with  England,  and  special  privileges  were 
granted  to  the  so-called  Russia  Company  of  English 

The  English  commercial  expeditions  through  Rus- 
sia, down  the  Volga,  and  .across  the  Caspian  to  Persia, 
were  not  financially  successful,  though  perhaps  valu- 
able as  a  hint  to  the  Portuofuese  that  the  latter  did 


not  hold  the  only  road  to  India.  To  Russia,  also, 
this  traffic  proved  by  no  means  an  unalloyed  blessing. 
The  wealthy  merchants  of  Dantzic  and  other  Hanse 
towns  along  the  Baltic,  who  had  enjoyed  a  monopoly 
of  Russian  commerce,  looked  on  with  jealousy,  and  it 
was  doubtless  owing  to  enmity  in  this  influential 
quarter  that  Ivan  failed  in  all  his  attempts  to  secure 
Esthonia  and  Livonia,  and  gain  access  to  the  Baltic 
seaports.  On  the  other  hand,  English  enterprise 
brought  about  commerce  with  different  nations,  and 
introduced  the  products  of  north-western  Europe  into 
the  tsar's  dominions.  Further  than  this,  the  Musco- 
vites copied  English  craft,  and  became  more  proficient 
in  maritime  affairs.  An  incident  connected  with  this 
traffic  may  be  considered  the  first  link  of  a  long  chain 
of  events  which  finally  resulted  in  Russia's  stride 
across  the  Ural  Mountains,  and  the  formation  of  a 
second  or  reserve  empire,  without  which  the  original 
or  European  structure  might  long  since  have  fallen. 
On  the  return  of  an  English  expedition  from  Persia 
across  the  Caspian,  in  1573,  the  ship  was  attacked  by 
Cossacks,  who  gained  possession  of  vessel  and  cargo, 
setting  the  crew  adrift  in  a  boat  furnished  with  some 
provisions.  The  Englishmen  made  their  way  to  Astra- 
khan, and  on  their  report  of  what  had  befallen  them 
two  armed  vessels  were  sent  out.  The  pirates  were 
captured  and  put  to  death,  while  the  cargo,  worth 
between  30,000  and  40,000  pounds  sterling,  was  safely 
landed  at  Astrakhan.  The  tsar  then  despatched  a 
numerous  land  force  to  destroy  the  nest  of  robbers 
infesting  the  Lower  Volga  and  the  Caspian.  His 
army  spread  dismay.  The  Cossacks  saw  that  sub- 
mission was  death,  and  many  leaped  from  the  blood- 
stained deck  of  their  rude  barks  to  the  saddle,  being 
equally  familiar  with  both.  Then  they  banded  under 
determined  leaders  and  set  out  for  countries  beyond 
the  reach  of  Russia's  long  arm.  Yermak  Timofeief 
headed  one  of  these  bands,  and  thus  the  advance  of 
the  Slav  race  toward  the  Pacific  began.     Rude  and 


spasmodic  as  it  was,  the  traflSc  of  the  EngHsh  laid 
the  foundation  of  Kussian  commerce  on  the  Caspian. 
Previous  to  the  appearance  of  the  EngHsh  the  Rus- 
sians had  carried  on  their  trade  with  Bokhara  and 
Persia  entirely  by  land;  but  from  that  time  they 
began  to  construct  transport  ships  on  the  Volga  and 
to  sail  coastwise  to  the  circumjacent  harbors  of  the 

Before  following  the  tide  of  conquest  across  the 
Ural  Mountains,  it  may  be  well  to  cast  a  brief  glance 
over  the  contemporaneous  efforts  of  English  and  Dutch 
navigators  to  advance  in  the  same  easterly  direction 
by  water,  or  rather  to  thread  their  way  between  the 
masses  of  floating  and  solid  ice  besetting  the  navigable 
channels  of  the  Arctic,  demonstrating  as  they  do  the 
general  impression  prevalent  among  European  nations 
at  the  time,  that  the  route  pursued  by  Columbus  and 
his  successors  was  not  the  only  one  leading  to  the  in- 
exhaustible treasures  of  the  Indies, and  to  that  Cathay 
which  the  Latin  maritime  powers  were  making  stren- 
uous efforts  to  monopolize. 

The  last  EngHsh  expedition  in  search  of  the  north- 
east passage,  undertaken  in  the  sixteenth  century, 
consisted  of  two  barks  which  sailed  from  England  early 
in  1580,  and  were  fortunate  enough  to  pass  beyond  the 
straits  of  Vaigatz,  but  made  no  new  discoveries  and 
brought  but  a  moderate  return  to  their  owners.  The 
Russians  meanwhile  kept  up  a  vigorous  coasting- 
trade,  their  ill-shaped  and  ill-appointed  craft  generally 
being  found  far  in  advance  of  their  more  pretentious 

In  1594  the  states-general  of  Holland  offered  a 
premium  of  twenty-five  thousand  florins  to  the  lucky 
navigator  who  should  open  the  much  desired  high- 
way. A  squadron  of  four  small  vessels  commanded 
by  Cornelis  Nay  was  the  first  to  enter  for  the  prize. 
A  merchant  named  Linschoten,  possessed  of  con- 
siderable scientific  attainments,  accompanied  the  ex- 


pedition  as  commercial  agent,  and  Willem  Barentz, 
who  commanded  one  of  the  vessels,  acted  as  pilot. 
They  sailed  from  Holland  on  the  15th  of  June  1594, 
and  arrived  safely  at  the  bay  of  Kilduyn,  on  the 
coast  of  Lapland.  Here  they  separated,  Nay  heading 
for  Vaigatz  Straits  and  Barentz  choosing  a  more 
northerly  route.  The  latter  discovered  and  named 
Ys  Hoek,  or  Ice  Cape,  the  northern  extremity  of 
Novaia  Zemlia,  while  the  other  vessels  passed  through 
the  straits,  where  they  met  with  numerous  Bussian 
lodkas,  or  small  craft.  This  southern  division  entered 
the  sea  of  Kara,  called  by  Linschoten  the  sea  of  Tar- 
tary,  on  the  1st  of  August.  Wooden  crosses  were 
observed  at  various  points  of  the  coast,  and  the  inhab- 
itants bore  evidence  of  intercourse  with  the  Bussians 
by  their  manner  of  salutation.  The  Samoiedes  had 
come  in  contact  with  the  advancing  Muscovites  in  the 
interior  as  well  as  on  the  coast. 

On  the  11th  of  August,  when  their  astronomical 
observations  placed  the  vessels  fifty  leagues  to  the 
eastward  of  the  straits,  with  land  still  in  sight  toward 
the  east,  this  part  of  the  expedition  turned  back,  evi- 
dently apprehensive  of  sharing  the  fate  of  their  Eng- 
lish predecessors,  who  had  been  unfortunate  in  those 
latitudes.  The  two  divisions  fell  in  with  each  other 
on  the  homeward  voyage,  and  arrived  at  Amsterdam 
on  the  25th  of  September  of  the  same  year. 

A  second  expedition  sailed  from  Amsterdam  on  the 
same  errand  in  1595.  It  consisted  of  not  less  than 
seven  vessels.  Willem  Barentz  was  chief  in  com- 
mand, assisted  by  Heemskerk,  Linschoten,  and  Cor- 
nells Bijp.  The  departure  of  this  squadron  was  for 
some  reason  delayed  until  July,  and  after  weather- 
ing the  North  Cape  a  few  of  the  vessels  sailed  di- 
rectly for  the  White  Sea  to  trade,  while  the  others 
proceeded  through  the  straits  of  Vaigatz.  They  met, 
as  usual,  with  Bussian  lodkas,  and  for  the  first  time 
definite  information  was  obtained  of  the  great  river 
Yenissei,  which   the  Bussians  had  already  reached 


by  land.  After  prolonged  battling  against  ice  and 
contrary  winds  and  currents,  the  expedition  turned 
back  on  the  15th  of  September  and  made  sail  for 

After  this  second  failure  the  states-general  washed 
their  hands  of  further  enterprise  in  that  direction, 
but  the  city  of  Amsterdam  still  showed  some  faith  in 
ultimate  success  by  fitting  out  two  ships  and  intrust- 
ing them  respectively  to  Barentz  and  Rijp.  This 
expedition  made  an  early  start,  sailing  on  the  2 2d  of 
May  1596.  Their  course  was  shaped  in  accordance 
with  Barentz'  theory  that  more  to  the  north  there 
was  a  better  chance  of  finding  an  open  sea.  On  the 
9th  of  June  they  discovered  Bear  Island  in  latitude 
74°  30'.  Still  keeping  on  their  first  course  they  again 
encountered  land  in  latitude  79°  30',  Spitzbergen,  and 
in  July  the  two  vessels  separated  in  search  of  a  clear 
channel  to  the  east.  On  the  26th  of  August  Barentz 
was  forced  by  a  gale  into  a  bay  on  the  east  coast  of 
Novaia  Zemlia,  on  which  occasion  the  ice  seriously 
damaged  his  vessel.  Here  the  venturesome  Hol- 
landers constructed  a  house  and  passed  a  winter  full 
of  misery,  a  continued  struggle  with  famishing  bears 
and  the  deadly  cold.  Toward  spring  the  castaways 
constructed  two  open  boats  out  of  remnants  of  the 
wreck,  fitted  them  out  as  well  as  they  could,  and  put 
to  sea  on  the  14th  of  June  1597.  Six  days  later 
Barentz  died.  In  July  the  unfortunates  fell  in  with 
some  Russian  lodkas  and  obtained  provisions.  They 
finally  reached  Kilduyn  Bay  in  Lapland,  one  of  the 
rendezvous  of  White  Sea  traders.  Several  Dutch 
vessels  were  anchored  there,  and  one  of  them  was 
commanded  by  Bijp,  who  had  returned  to  Amster- 
dam and  sailed  again  on  a  private  enterprise.  He 
extended  all  possible  aid  to  his  former  companions  and 
obtained  passage  for  them  on  several  vessels.  This 
put  an  end  in  Holland  to  explorations  in  search  of  a 
northern  route  to  India,  until  the  attempts  of  Hudson 
in   1608-9.     The    problem  was   partially   solved   hy 


Deshnefs  obscure  voyage  in  1648,  and  after  another 
failure  by  Wood  in  1676,  Russia  made  the  attempt, 
Vitus  Bering  starting  from  Kamchatka;  afterward 
were  the  efforts  of  Shalalirof  and  of  Bilhngs.  Finally 
a  Swedish  expedition  under  Nordenskjold  accom- 
plished the  feat  in  1879,  after  wintering  on  the  Arc- 
tic coast. 




Siberia  the  Russian  Canaan — From  the  Black  and  Caspian  Seas  over 
THE  Ural  Mountains — Stroganof,  the  Salt-miner — Visit  of  Yer- 
MAK — Occupation  of  the  Ob  by  the  Cossacks— Character  of  the 
Conquerors — Their  Ostrog  on  the  Toeol — The  Straight  Line  of 
March  thence  to  Okhotsk  on  the  Pacific— The  Promyshlesiki — 
Lena  River  Reached— Ten  Cossacks  against  Ten  Thousand — Ya- 
kutski  Ostrog — Exploration  of  the  Amoor — Discoveries  on  the 
Arctic  Seaboard — Ivory  versus  Skins — The  Land  of  the  Chukchi 
Invaded— Okhotsk  Established— Kamchatka  Occupied — Rumors  op 
Realms  Beyond. 

While  the  maritime  nations  of  north-western  Eu- 
rope were  thus  sending  ship  after  ship  into  the  Arctic 
ice-fields  in  the  hope  of  finding  a  north-eastern  passage 
to  India,  the  Russians  were  slowly  but  surely  forcing 
their  way  over  Siberian  rivers  and  steppes,  and  even 
along  the  Arctic  coast  from  river-mouth  to  river- 
mouth,  and  that  not  in  search  of  any  India,  or  other 
grand  attainment,  but  only  after  skins,  and  to  get  far- 
ther and  farther  from  parental  despotism.  Their  an- 
cient homes  had  not  been  abodes  of  peace,  and  no 
tender  reminiscences  or  patriotic  ties  bound  them  to 
the  soil  of  Russia.  It  was  rather  a  yearning  for  per- 
sonal freedom,  next  after  the  consideration  of  the 
sohol,  that  drew  the  poor  Slav  farther  and  farther 
through  forests  and  swamps  away  from  his  place  of 
birth;  he  did  not  care  to  band  for  general  indepen- 
dence. Rulers  were  of  God,  the  church  said,  and  he 
would  not  oppose  them,  but  he  would  if  possible  es- 
cape.    In  view  of  these  pecuhar  tendencies  the  open- 


ing  of  the  boundless  expanse  toward  the  east  was  a 
blessing  not  only  to  the  oppressed  but  to  the  oppress- 
ors. The  turbulent  spirits,  who  might  have  caused 
trouble  at  home,  in  early  times  found  their  way  to 
Siberia  voluntarily,  while  later  the  '  paternal '  govern- 
ment gathered  strength  enough  to  send  them  there. 

A  century  sable-hunt  half  round  the  world  this  re- 
markable movement  might  be  called.  It  was  at  once 
a  discovery  and  a  conquest,  which  was  to  carry  Cos- 
sack and  Russian  across  the  vast  continent,  and  across 
the  narrowed  Pacific  to  the  fire-breathing  islands, 
and  the  glistening  mountains  and  majestic  forests  of 
Alaska.  The  shores  of  the  Black  and  Caspian  seas 
was  the  starting-point.  Russia's  eastern  bound  was 
then  the  Ural  Mountains.  Anika  Stroganof  set  up 
salt-works  there,  and  the  people  at  the  east  brought 
him  furs  to  trade.  They  were  pretty  little  skins,  and 
yielded  the  salt-miner  a  large  profit;  so  he  sent  his 
traders  as  far  as  the  great  river  Ob  for  them.  And 
the  autocrat  of  the  empire  smiled  on  these  proceed- 
ings, and  gave  the  salt-merchant  lands,  and  allowed 
his  descendants  to  become  a  power  and  call  them- 
selves counts. 

In  1578  the  grandson  of  the  first  Stroganof  received 
a  visit  from  a  Cossack  chieftain  or  ataman,  named 
Yermak  Timofeief,  who  with  his  followers  had  in 
Cossack  fashion  led  a  life  of  war  and  plunder,  and 
was  then  flying  from  justice  as  administered  by  Ivan 
Vassilievich  II. 

Yermak's  mounted  followers  numbered  a  thousand, 
and  Stroganof  was  anxious  they  should  move  on;  so 
he  told  them  of  places  toward  the  east,  fine  spots  for 
robber-knights  to  seize  and  settle  on,  and  he  sent 
men  to  guide  them  thither.  This  was  in  1578.  At 
the  river  Ob  the  Cossacks  found  a  little  Tartar  sover- 
eignty, a  fragment  of  the  great  monarchy  of  Genghis 
Khan.  The  warlike  spirit  with  which  Tamerlane  had 
once  inspired  the  Tartars  had  long  since  fled.  Their 
little  kingdom,  in  which  cattle-herding,  the  chase,  and 


traffic  were  the  only  pursuits,  now  remained  only 
because  none  had  come  to  conquer  them.  The  Cos- 
sacks were  in  the  full  flush  of  national  development. 
They  had  ever  been  apt  learners  from  the  Tartars, 
against  whom  they  had  often  served  the  Muscovites 
as  advance  guard.  Now  Yermak  was  in  a  strait. 
Behind  him  was  the  wrathful  tsar,  to  fall  into  whose 
hands  was  certain  death.  Though  his  numbers  were 
small,  he  must  fight  for  it.  Attacking  the  Tartars, 
in  due  time  he  became  master  of  their  capital  city, 
though  at  the  cost  of  half  his  little  army.  And  now 
he  must  have  more  men.  Perhaps  he  might  buy 
friendship  of  the  tsar.  A  rich  gift  of  sables,  with  in- 
formation that  he  had  conquered  for  him  the  kingdom 
of  Kutchum  Khan,  accomplished  the  purpose.  Re- 
enforcements  and  confirmation  of  rulership  were  the 
response.  Thus  was  begun  the  long  journey  of  the 
Russians  across  the  continent. 

Vast  as  is  the  area  of  Siberia  its  several  parts  are 
remarkably  similar.  Plants,  animals,  and  men;  cli- 
mate, conditions,  and  custonls,  are  more  alike  than  on 
the  other  side  of  the  strait  of  Bering.  The  country 
and  its  contents  are  upon  a  dead  level.  A  net-work  of 
navigation  is  formed  by  the  upper  branches  of  rivers 
flowing  into  the  frozen  sea  through  the  tundras,  or 
ice-morass,  of  the  north,  so  that  the  same  kind  of  boats 
and  sledges  carry  the  traveller  across  the  whole  coun- 
try. The  fierce  and  cunning  Cossacks  of  Russia  were 
in  marked  contrast  to  the  disunited  semi-nomads  of 
Siberia,  busy  as  they  were  taming  the  reindeer,  hunt- 
ing with  dogs,  or  fighting  with  the  bow  and  arrow  and 
lance ;  and  if  they  could  conquer  the  Tartars  of  the 
Ob  there  was  no  reason  why  they  could  not  march 
on  to  the  Pacific. 

They  were  a  singular  people,  brave  as  Spaniards 
and  tough  as  gypsies.  Their  weapons,  the  later  Eu- 
ropean kind,  of  iron  and  gunpowder,  gave  them  a  vast 
superiority  over  the  tribes  of  Siberia,  and  their  boats 


and  horses  seem  to  have  been  made  for  the  purpose. 
The  latter  were  small  and  enduring,  adequate  to  the 
long  day's  march,  and  like  their  masters  accustomed 
to  cold,  hunger,  thirst,  and  continuous  fatigue.  Like 
the  chamois  and  reindeer  they  would  scrape  off  the 
snow  from  their  scanty  nourishment,  or  if  grass  was 
wanting  they  were  glad  to  get  frozen  fish  to  eat. 

The  invaders  found  it  well  to  divide  their  forces, 
and  advance  in  small  scattered  bodies,  a  dozen  war- 
riors sometimes  subjugating  a  tribe;  then  again  some 
hundreds  were  required  for  the  occupation  of  a  river- 
territory  or  a  kingdom.  There  was  no  need  of  a  large 
united  army,  or  of  any  great  discipline.  This  also 
suited  Cossack  ideas  and  habits,  as  they  were  repub- 
lican in  their  way.  Born  equal,  they  everywhere  met 
on  a  common  footing.  They  chose  their  atamans  and 
sotniks,  or  centurions,  who,  if  they  did  not  rule  to  suit, 
were  quickly  deposed  and  others  elected.  The  highest 
position  was  open  to  the  humblest  aspirant. 

It  was  on  the  Tobol  that  the  Cossacks  and  Rus- 
sians built  their  first  ostrog,  or  fort,  which  later  became 
Tobolsk,  the  head-quarters  of  their  organized  govern- 
ment, and  the  starting-point  of  their  expeditions. 
Thence  their  conquering  march  was  straight  through 
the  middle  of  Siberia,  the  line  being  equidistant  from 
the  mountains  of  the  south  and  the  morasses  of  the 
north,  and  it  later  became  the  principal  line  of  traffic. 
On  this  line,  cutting  through  the  various  river  re- 
gions, the  chief  colonies  of  the  country  were  founded. 
Eastward  from  Tobolsk,  in  the  territory  of  the  river 
Ob,  the  city  of  Tomsk;  eastward  from  this,  on  the 
Yenissei,  the  city  of  Yenisseisk;  then  Irkutsk  and 
Yakutsk  in  the  Lena  district,  and  finally,  on  the 
shores  of  the  Pacific,  Okhotsk,  which  stands  upon 
about  the  same  parallel  as  that  of  the  starting-point. 
These  cities  grew  successively  one  out  of  the  other, 
and  for  every  new  river  province  the  last  served  as 
a  2^oint  cVappui  for  the  various  enterprises,  military 

Hist,  Alaska.    2 


or  commercial.  At  every  important  river  a  halt  was 
made,  during  which  they  settled  themselves  more 
firmly,  and  organized  their  new  territory.  They  built 
boats,  explored  up  the  rivers,  and  down  them  even 
to  the  frozen  ocean,  where  they  founded  little  settle- 

The  Cossacks  themselves  were  a  light  troop,  but 
they  were  preceded  by  a  still  lighter,  a  flying  advance 
guard,  called  the  promyshlenihi,  a  kind  of  Russian 
coureurs  des  hois.  They  were  freebooters  w^ho  hunted 
on  their  own  account  and  at  their  own  risk.  No  one 
could  control  them.  They  flitted  everywhere  in  the 
v/oods  and  morasses,  companions  of  wild  beasts.  They 
made  the  several  first  discoveries  in  Siberia,  and 
brought  home  the  earliest  information  of  hitherto 
unknown  parts. 

In  the  spring  of  1628  the  Cossacks  reached  Lena 
River.  The  party  consisted  of  ten  men  under  Vassili 
Bugor,  who  had  crossed  over  from  the  Yenissei  on 
snow-shoes.  Arrived  at  the  Lena,  the  great  central 
stream,  lying  midway  between  the  beginning  and  end 
of  their  century-march,  they  built  a  boat  and  went 
down  and  up  the  river  for  some  distance,  spreading 
dismay  and  collecting  their  tribute  of  sable-skins. 
Ten  Cossacks  against  the  inhabitants  of  that  great 
valley  1  I  know  of  nothing  in  x\.merican  history  that 
equals  it.  After  making  the  people  swear  submission, 
Bugor  posted  two  of  his  men  at  the  middle  point  on 
the  river,  and  two  each  at  points  two  hundred  miles 
above  and  two  hundred  miles  below.  After  three 
years  of  bluster  and  traffic  Bugor  returned  to  the 
Yenissei.  In  1632  a  Cossack  chieftain  named  Beke- 
tof  sailed  far  down  the  Lena  and  built  the  first  ostrog 
on  this  river,  among  the  Yakut  nation.  -This  was 
the  Yakutski  Ostrog,  out  of  which  rose  later  the  city 
of  Yakutsk,  the  capital  of  eastern  Siberia,  and  which 
finally  served  as  head-quarters  for  expeditions  to  the 
Arctic  and  to  the  Pacific.     From  the  Lena,  Siberia 



extends,  gradually  narro\vin< 

about  five  or  six  hun- 
dred leao^ues  further  to  the  east.  The  lenj^th  of  the 
rivers  decreases  with  the  breadth  of  the  land,  and  the 
mighty  Lena  is  followed  by  the  smaller  Yana,  Indi- 
girka,  Kolima,  and  at  last,  in  the  farthest  corner  by 
the  Anadir  which  empties  into  the  Pacific.     The  dis- 

F.RIOA  ,-_ 

Eastern  Siberia. 

covery  of  these  more  distant  rivers  of  Siberia  began 
in  1638.  Some  Cossacks,  under  the  leadership  of  a 
certain  Busa,  reached  the  Yana  by  water  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Lena,  while  others,  under  the  sotnik 
Ivanof,  penetrated  on  horseback  to  its  sources  from 


Yakutsk.    Here  they  heard  of  the  Indigirka,  and  the 
year  following  they  trotted  on  to  the  river. 

In  1639  the  rugged  mountains  on  the  eastern  bor- 
der of  Siberia  were  crossed  on  horseback  and  on 
snow-shoes,  and  an  ostrog  was  built  on  the  sea-shore 
to  which  the  name  of  Okhotsk  was  given.  Thus  the 
Pacific  Ocean  was  first  reached  by  the  Russians  on 
the  shore  of  the  Okhotsk  Sea,  a  place  destined  to  play 
an  important  part  in  the  advance  toward  America. 
The  discovery  was  achieved  by  Andrei  Kopilof,  a 
Cossack  leader,  who  made  his  way  thither  from  the 
Lena  at  the  head  of  a  small  party,  thus  completing 
the  march  across  the  continent  of  Asia,  in  its  broadest 
part,  in  about  sixty  years  from  the  time  of  Yermak's 
visit  to  Stroganof 

The  ascent  of  the  Lena  brought  the  Russians  to 
Lake  Baikal,  and  showed  them  another  route  to  the 
Pacific,  through  China  by  way  of  the  Amoor.  The 
rich  silver  deposits  in  that  quarter  drew  poj^ulation 
from  the  north-western  ostrogs,  something  after  the 
manner  of  a  California  mining  rush.  The  Mantchoo 
Tartars  were  most  of  them  absent  from  home  at  the 
time,  completing  their  conquest  of  the  celestial  empire, 
which  left  the  Amoor  region  comparatively  defence- 
less. On  the  return  of  the  Tartars  the  Russians  were 
obliged  to  relinquish  some  of  their  pretensions,  though 
they  retained  their  hold  on  the  mines,  and  continued 
trade  with  China.  In  1643  Vassili  Posharkof  set  out 
from  Yakutsk  with  one  hundred  and  thirty- two  men, 
and  following  the  course  of  the  Amoor  to  its  mouth, 
and  thence  proceeding  north  and  westward  some  dis- 
tance along  the  coast,  returned  to  Yakutsk  in  1646 
by  a  different  route,  and  one  direct  from  the  Okhotsk 

Sixteen  Cossacks  on  the  Indigirka  took  captive  the 
ruling  prince  of  the  country.     On  their  neighing  steeds 


they  charged  his  forces,  armed  with  only  bows  and 
arrows,  and  vanquished  them  with  great  slaughter. 
In  1640  they  had  completed  the  conquest  of  the  whole 
river,  eight  hundred  miles  long.  Forthwith  they  again 
began  to  listen  to  tales  of  new  streams  in  the  east,  of 
the  Aliseia  and  the  Kolima.  Strengthened  by  addi- 
tional troops  they  proceeded  in  1646  to  subdue  this 
region.  East  of  the  Kolima,  where  Siberia  approaches 
its  termination,  dwelt  the  warlike  Chukchi,  the  Tschuk- 
tschi  of  German  writers.  Their  land  did  not  allure 
with  sables  or  silver-mines,  but  a  new  attraction  was 
found  for  the  European.  Dating  existence  from  pri- 
meval revulsions,  were  found  on  the  shores  and  along 
the  banks  of  rivers  vast  deposits  of  fossil  ivory,  the 
tusks  of  the  ancient  mammoth  elephant.  Similar  de- 
posits had  been  found  before  in  other  parts  of  Siberia, 
iDut  the  largest  were  in  the  far  north-east  along  the 
shores  of  the  land  of  the  Chukchi.  This  substance, 
which  was  called  precious  and  a  staple,  exercised  a 
powerful  influence  in  the  conquest  of  Siberia  and  in 
-a.ttracting  emigrants  to  the  north.  Even  at  the  pres- 
ent day  it  plays  an  important  part  in  Siberian  trafiic, 
and  is  also  found  in  the  northern  regions  of  America. 

Isai  Ignatief,  with  a  company  of  promyshleniki, 
set  out  in  search  of  mammoth  tusks  toward  the  Chuk- 
chi country.  From  the  mouth  of  the  Kolima  he 
proceeded  a  short  distance  along  the  Arctic  seaboard 
in  boats.  The  natives  were  shy  at  first,  but  after 
some  traffic  they  told  the  Russians  of  a  large  moun- 
tainous land  which  lay  westward  and  toward  the  north 
pole,  and  the  outline  of  whose  coasts  could  be  seen 
from  time  to  time  from  the  Siberian  shore.  This  land, 
they  said,  was  rich  in  ivory,  and  there  were  the  most 
beautiful  tusks  heaped  up  there  in  huge  banks  and 
mounds.  Many  believed  that  it  was  peopled  and 
connected  with  Novaia  Zemlia  in  the  west  and  with 
America  in  the  east. 

With  a  daring  which  the  well  prepared  Arctic  ex- 
plorer of  our  time  can  scarcely  understand,  the  Rus- 


sians  committed  themselves  to  their  fragile  lodki,  or 
open  sail-boats,  of  rough  planks  tied  together  with 
thongs,  and  struck  out  for  that  land  of  ivory  toward 
the  north  pole.  They  sailed  without  compass  out 
into  that  sea;  they  battled  with  the  ice  found  there; 
their  barks  were  shattered ;  they  were  frozen  in  at  sea 
hundreds  of  versts  from  land.  They  even  wintered 
there  that  they  might  advance  a  little  farther  the  fol- 
lowing summer.  What  can  science  or  modern  adven- 
ture show  as  a  parallel  ?  Lost  on  a  wilderness  of  ice, 
all  w^armth  departed,  hungry,  ill-clothed,  with  scarcely 
any  shelter,  yet  still  determined  to  achieve  the  land  of 
ivory.  Perhaps  some  of  them  did  reach  it;  let  us  hope 
so,  and  that  they  obtained  their  fill  of  ivory.  Nearly 
two  centuries  later  the  first  light  concerning  this  land 
came  through  the  travels  of  Baron  Wrangell,  when  it 
was  recognized  as  a  group  of  islands  and  named  New 

Ignatief  could  hardly  be  said  to  have  made  the 
acquaintance  of  the  Chukchi,  so  eager  had  he  been 
after  ivory.  But  better  success  attended  the  efforts 
of  the  Bussians  a  little  later.  By  order  of  the  tsar 
Alexis,  seven  Jcotches,  a  small  decked  craft,  were  sent 
along  the  shore  in  search  of  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Anadir,  whose  head-waters  had  been  sighted  by  the 
venturesome  promyshleniki.  The  expedition  set  out 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Kolima  June  20,  1648.  Of 
four  of  these  vessels  nothing  further  is  mentioned;  but 
we  know  that  the  remaining  three  were  commanded 
respectively  by  Simeon  Deshnef  and  Gerassim  Anku- 
dinof,  Cossack  chiefs,  and  Fedot  Alexeief,  peredovchik, 
that  is  to  say,  leader  of  promyshleniki.  Deshnef,  who 
forwarded  a  detailed  account  of  his  adventures  to 
Yakutsk,  speaks  but  incidentally  of  what  happened  be- 
fore reaching  Cape  Chukotsk.  Then  he  says:  "This 
isthmus,  is  quite  different  from  that  which  is  bound  by 
the  Biver  Tschukotschia  west  of  the  Biver  Kolima. 
It  lies  between  the  north,  and  north-east,  and  turns 


circular  towards  the  river  Anadir.  On  the  Russian, 
that  is,  the  west  side  of  it,  there  falls  a  brook  into 
the  sea,  by  which  the  Tschuktschi  have  erected  a 
scaffold  like  a  tower  of  the  bones  of  whales.  Over- 
against  the  isthmus  (it  is  not  mentioned  on  Avhich 
side)  there  are  two  islands  in  the  sea,  upon  which 
were  seen  people  of  the  Tschuktschi  nation,  thro' 
whose  lips  were  run  pieces  of  the  teeth  of  the  sea- 
horse. One  might  sail  from  the  isthmus  to  the  river 
Anadir,  with  a  fair  wind,  in  three  days  and  nights, 
and  it  might  be  travelled  by  land  within  the  same 
time."  The  kotche  commanded  by  Ankudinof  was 
wrecked  at  the  cape,  but  the  inmates  were  saved  by 
the  other  vessels.  On  the  20th  of  September  Desh- 
nef  and  Alexeief  made  a  landing  and  had  an  engage- 
ment with  the  Chukchi,  during  which  Alexeief  was 
wounded.  After  this  the  two  ketches  lost  sight  of 
each  other  and  did  not  meet  again.  Deshnef  drifted 
about  until  October,  and  at  last  he  was  also  wrecked, 
as  it  appears,  some  distance  to  the  south  of  the  Ana- 
dir, in  the  vicinity  of  the  river  Olutorsk.  He  had 
only  twenty-five  men  left,  and  with  these  he  set  out 
by  land  in  search  of  the  Anadir;  but  having  no  guide, 
he  wandered  about  for  ten  weeks  and  at  last  reached 
its  banks  not  far  from  the  mouth.  One  half  of  his 
command  started  up  the  river,  but  hunger  comj^elled 
them  to  return.  The  following  summer  Deshnef  as- 
cended the  Anadir  in  boats.  He  met  with  a  tribe 
called  the  Ananli,  made  them  tributary  after  con- 
siderable resistance,  and  founded  the  settlement  of 
ostrog  Anadirsk.  Here  he  remained  till  1650,  when 
he  was  joined  on  the  23d  of  April  by  the  Cossack 
Motora  with  a  volunteer  expedition  from  Kolimsk. 
Another  expedition  under  Mikhail  Stadukhin  followed 
immediately  after;  but  the  latter,  jealous  of  the  suc- 
cesses already  achieved  by  the  others,  went  more  to 
the  southward  for  further  discoveries  and  was  never 
heard  of  again.  Deshnef  subsequently  encountered  a 
Yakut  woman  who  had  been  with  Fedot  Alexeief 


and  was  told  by  her  that  Fedot  and  Ankudinof  had 
been  wrecked  and  that  both  had  died  of  scurvy  among 
the  Koriaks.^  No  mention  is  made  by  any  of  this 
party  of  having  seen  the  American  continent,  though 
it  is  not  impossible  that  some  of  them  did  see  it. 
They  were  obliged  to  hug  the  Asiatic  shore,  and  the 
opposite  coast  can  be  seen  from  there  only  on  a  clear 

Another  account  of  Deshnef's  voyage  places  it  at 
a  still  earlier  date,  between  1580  and  1590,  but  the 
inaccuracy  of  this  is  evident.^ 

Last  of  all  this  region  to  be  unveiled  was  that 
narrow  south-eastern  strip  of  Siberia,  the  Kamchatka 
peninsula,  which,  about  the  size  and  shape  of  Italy, 
projects  six  hundred  geographical  miles  from  the  con- 
tinent into  Bering  and  Okhotsk  seas.  The  Cossack 
Luka  Morosko  started  from  Anadirsk  in  1669  with 
a  roving  band  and  penetrated  far  to  the  southward, 
but  what  he  saw  was  not  known  until  some  time  after- 
ward. The  name  Kamchatka  was  known  in  Yakutsk 
by  report  from  1690.  Some  years  later  the  first  party 
of  riders  set  out  thither  under  the  leadership  of  the 
Cossack  colonel,  Atlassof,  who  passes  for  the  actual 

^  The  voyage  of  Deshnef  was  almost  forgotten  when  Mnller  found  a 
record  of  it  in  Kolimsk.  Morshoi  Sbornik,  1764,  37-49;  Jefferys'  Muller's 
Voy.,  v.-ix. 

^  An  anonymous  article  in  a  literary  monthly  published  in  St  Petersburg 
in  1769  contains  the  following:  'The  honor  of  having  taken  the  first  steps 
toward  the  discovery  of  these  new  islands  (which  on  account  of  their  number 
may  justly  be  termed  an  archipelago)  belongs  to  the  tsar  Ivan  Vassilievich 
II.  After  having  conquered  the  whole  of  Siberia  he  desired  to  know  its 
boundaries  north  and  east,  and  the  tribes  inhabiting  those  far-off  regions. 
For  this  purpose  he  sent  out  an  expedition,  which  only  returned  during  the 
reign  of  his  son  and  successor,  Tsar  Feodor  Ivanovich,  bringing  the  first  news 
of  the  existence  of  the  Polar  Sea  on  the  noi'thern  shore  of  Siberia,  and  another 
vast  ocean  in  the  east.  In  some  of  the  old  Siberian  archives  documents  have 
been  discovered  which  prove  that  the  above-mentioned  expedition  made  some 
important  discoveries  in  the  Arctic  Sea,  and,  following  along  its  shores  to 
the  north-east,  one  of  the  smaller  vessels  finally  rounded  the  extreme  point, 
Cape  Chukotsk,  and  arrived  safely  on  the  coast  of  Kamchatka.  The  troubled 
times  which  came  over  Russia  after  this  achievement  during  the  lawless  reigns 
of  the  usurper  Boris  Godunof,  and  of  the  False  Dmitri  after  him,  made  it 
impossible  to  think  of  further  explorations  of  the  Kamchatka  country,  and 
even  the  name  was  almost  forgotten  after  the  lapse  of  a  few  years.'  Yeshe- 
miansachnaia  Sochineiiin,  March,  1769,  336-7. 


discoverer  and  conqueror  of  Kamchatka.  The  Rus- 
sians found  in  Kamchatka  Japanese  writings  and  even 
some  Japanese  sailors  cast  ashore  there  by  shipwreck. 
From  the  latter  they  learned  that  the  land  stretched 
far  away  to  the  south,  and  were  at  first  induced  to 
believe  that  Kamchatka  reached  as  far  as  Japan,  as 
indeed  it  is  laid  down  on  the  oldest  maps. 

Like  the  Spaniards  in  Mexico,  the  first  Russians  in 
Kamchatka  were  highly  honored,  almost  deified,  by 
the  natives.  That  the  aboriginal  Americans  should 
have  ascribed  divinit}^  to  the  first  Spaniards  is  not 
strange.  They  came  to  them  from  off  the  limitless 
and  mysterious  water  in  huge  white-winged  canoes, 
in  martial  array,  with  gaudy  trappings  and  glittering 
armor;  they  landed  with  imposing  ceremonies;  their 
leaders  were  men  of  dignified  bearing  and  suave  man- 
ners, and  held  their  followers  in  control.  The  first 
appearance  of  the  Russians  in  Kamchatka,  however, 
presents  an  entirely  different  aspect;  surely  the  Kam- 
chatkans  of  that  day  were  satisfied  with  ungainly 

The  Cossacks  who  came  with  Atlassof  were  rough- 
looking  fellows,  of  small  size,  clad  in  furs  like  the 
Kamchatkans,  most  of  them  the  offspring  of  unions 
between  half  Tartars  and  women  from  the  native 
tribes  of  Siberia.  They  were  filthy  in  their  habits, 
and  had  just  completed  a  weary  ride  of  many  months 
through  the  wilderness.  They  were  naturally  cruel 
and  placed  no  restraint  on  their  beastly  propen- 
sities; nevertheless  they  were  called  gods  by  beings 
of  a  lower  order  than  themselves,  and  it  were  well 
to  propitiate  them.  Indeed,  they  did  possess  one 
attribute  of  the  deity:  they  could  kill.  A  few  rusty 
firelocks,  a  few  pounds  of  powder,  and  they  were 
omnipotent.  Gods  are  prone  to  quarrel  as  well  as 
men,  but  can  they  die?  The  Kamchatkans  thought 
not;  so  when  they  saw  one  of  Atlassofs  men  struck 
down  by  another,  saw  the  warm  red  blood  gush  from 
a  mortal  w^ound  to  stain  the  virgin  snow,  the  spell 


was  broken.  These  were  no  gods;  and  thenceforth 
the  Russians  had  to  fight  for  the  supremacy.  After 
many  expeditions  and  many  battles,  for  these  people 
were  in  truth  brave  and  lovers  of  liberty,  the  Rus- 
sians, in  1706,  reached  the  southern  extremity  of 
the  Kamchatka  peninsula,  where  the}^  saw  the  north- 
ernmost islands  of  the  Kurile  chain  which  points  to 

Thus  did  the  Russians,  after  the  lapse  of  a  century 
full  of  toil  and  ravages,  reach  the  extreme  end  of  the 
Old  World..  At  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century  they  found  themselves  on  a  separate  strip  of 
coast,  twelve  hundred  miles  long,  facing  another 
twelve  hundred  miles'  strip,  the  north-west  end  of 
America.  It  was  hardly  to  be  expected  that  they 
would  rest  contented  where  they  were. 

The  natives  of  Kamchatka  did  not  appear  to  have 
any  knowledge  of  America,  so  that  the  Russians  were 
left  to  learn  of  the  holshaia  zemlia,  or  'great  land' 
toward  the  east,  slowly  and  as  they  were  able.  Tall 
trunks  of  fir  and  other  trees  which  did  not  grow  in 
Kamchatka  were  thrown  from  time  to  time  by  cur- 
rents upon  the  shores  along  the  east  side  of  that 
country.  Large  flocks  of  land-birds  came  to  the  coast 
occasionally  from  the  east  and  disappeared  again  in 
the  same  direction.  Whales  came  from  the  east  with 
spear-heads  in  their  backs  different  from  any  used  in 
Kamchatka;  and  now  and  then  foreign-built  boats 
and  other  unusual  objects  were  washed  upon  the 
eastern  coast.  Even  the  waves  carrying  these  tokens 
did  not  have  as  long  a  swell  as  those  to  the  south. 
Hence  they  said  this  land  must  front  a  sea  wholly 
or  partially  enclosed,  and  that  toward  the  north  the 
sides  must  be  nearest  together.  Surely  the  Chukchi 
should  know  something  about  it.  Indeed,  often  in 
their  fights  with  these  people  the  Russians  had  taken 
captives  with  pieces  of  walrus  ivory  thrust  through 
their  lips  and  cheeks,  and  speaking  a  language  differ- 
ent from  that  of  the  Chukchi.     And  the  story  was 

THE  '  GREAT  LAND '  TO  THE  EAST.  .  27 

that  the  great  land  was  no  island,  but  had  rivers  and 
chains  of  mountains  without  end.^ 

About  this  time  the  stolnik  knias,  Yassili  Ivanovich 
Gagarin,  was  present  at  Yakutsk,  sent  thither  by  his 
uncle,  the  governor,  Prince  Matvei  Petrovich  Gagarin, 
to  make  discoveries.  He  issued  several  orders  to  the 
voivod,  or  nobleman,  Trauernicht,  who  commanded  in 
that  section,  one  of  them  being  that  he  should  "  make 
diligent  inquiry  about  the  islands  situated  opposite  the 
mouth  of  the  river  Kolima,  and  the  land  of  Kam- 
chatka; what  people  inhabited  them;  under  whose 
jurisdiction  they  were;  what  was  their  employment; 

'  iSIatvei  Strebykhin,  commander  of  the  ostrog  of  Anadirsk,  was  instructed 
in  1711  to  collect  information  concerning  the  Chukchi  and  an  island  or  conti- 
nent lying  to  the  eastward  of  their  country.  One  of  the  results  of  this  inves- 
tigation was  a  deposition-  made  and  sworn  to  by  the  Yak  out  Cossack  Peter 
Elianovich  Popof,  the  promyshlenik  Yegor  Vassilievich  Toldin,  and  the  newly 
converted  Yukagir  Ivan  Vassilievich  Tei'eshkin,  and  dated  Anadirsk,  Sept. 
2,  1711.  It  was  to  the  effect  that  on  the  13th  of  January  1711  Popof  and 
the  two  others,  who  served  as  interpreters,  were  sent  out  by  Governor  Fedor 
Kotovskoi  to  visit  the  A-alley  of  the  Anadir  and  *  eceive  tribute  from  some  of 
the  Chukchi  tribes.  This  done  they  were  to  proceed  to  the  cape,  Chukotskoi 
Noss,  in  order  to  persuade  the  Chukchi  living  there  to  become  tributary  to 
Russia.  Popof  met  everywhere  with  a  peremptory  refusal  to  pay  tribute. 
The  Chukchi  said  that  formerly  the  Russians  had  come  to  their  country  in 
ships,  and  they  paid  no  tribute  then,  and  therefore  they  would  not  do  it  now, 
and  Popof  must  expect  no  hostages  from  them.  The  Chukchi  who  dwell 
near  the  cape  keep  tame  reindeer,  and  in  order  to  tind  pasture  for  their  animals 
they  frequently  change  their  habitation.  Opposite  tlie  cape  on  either  side, 
in  the  sea  of  Kolima  as  well  as  in  that  of  Anadir,  islands  have  been  seen, 
which  the  Chukchi  call  a  large  country,  and  they  say  that  the  people  living 
there  liave  large  teeth  in  their  mouths,  projecting  through  the  cheeks.  Popof 
found  ten  of  these  men,  prisoners  among  the  Chukchi,  with  their  cheeks  still 
disfigured  by  the  projecting  ivory.  In  summer  time  they  sail  across  to  the 
Great  Land  in  one  day,  and  in  the  winter  a  swift  reindeer  team  can  make  it 
in  one  day  over  the  ice.  In  the  other  land  there  are  sables,  wolves,  and  bears. 
The  people  are,  like  the  Chukchi,  without  any  government.  They  have  the 
wood  of  cedar,  larch,  and  fir  trees,  which  the  Chukchi  sometimes  obtain  for 
their  bidars,  weapons,  and  huts.  About  2,000  people  live  at  and  near  the 
cape,  but  the  inhabitants  of  the  other  country  are  said  to  be  three  times 
that  number,  which  is  confirmed  not  only  by  prisoners  but  also  by  one  of  the 
Chukchi,  who  has  often  been  there.  Another  statement  was  essentially  as 
follows:  Opposite  the  cape  lies  an  island,  within  sight,  of  no  great  extent, 
devoid  of  timber,  and  inhabited  by  people  resembling  the  Chukchi,  though 
they  speak  their  own  language.  It  is  half  a  day's  voyage  to  the  island  from 
the  cape.  Beyond  the  island  there  is  a  large  continent,  scarcely  to  be  seen 
from  it,  and  that  only  on  very  clear  days.  In  calm  weather  one  may  row 
over  the  sea  to  the  continent,  which  is  inhabited.  There  are  large  forests, 
and  great  rivers  fall  into  the  sea.  The  inhabitants  have  fortified  dwellings 
with  ramparts  of  earth.  Their  clothes  are  the  skins  of  sable  and  fox.  The 
Chukchi  are  often  at  war  with  them.  Yeshemiassachnaia  Sochinenia,  1786, 
152-6;  IluUer's  Voy.,  24^6. 


how  large  the  islands  were  and  how  distant  from  the 
continent."  The  commanders  and  Cossacks  ordered 
to  those  regions  were  all  commissioned  with  such  in- 
quiries, with  the  promise  of  special  rewards  for  such 
service  from  the  emperor,  who  should  be  informed  of 
any  discoveries  by  express  as  soon  as  any  authentic 
report  was  forwarded  to  Yakutsk. 

Orders  had  been  issued  as  early  as  1710  to  the 
commanders  of  Ust-Yana  and  Kolima  to  give  these 
discoveries  their  special  attention.  In  answer,  a  dep- 
osition was  sent  in  by  the  Cossack  Yakov  Permakof 
of  Ust-Yana,  stating  that  he  once  sailed  from  the 
Lena  to  the  River  Kolima,  and  that  on  the  east  side 
of  Sviatoi  Noss  he  had  sighted  an  island  in  the  sea, 
but  was  unable  to  ascertain  if  it  was  inhabited.  There 
was  also  an  island  situated  directly  opposite  the  river 
Kolima,  an  island  that  might  be  seen  from  the  conti- 
nent. Mountains  could  be  seen  upon  it,  but  it  was 
uncertain  whether  it  was  inhabited. 

The  voivod  Trauernicht  was  further  encouraged,* 
and  prepared  two  expeditions,  one  from  the  mouth  of 
the  river  Yana  and  one  from  the  Kolima,  simultane- 
ously to  search  for  the  supposed  island;  for  which 
purpose  the  men  were  either  to  go  in  boats  or  travel 
on  the  ice  till  it  could  be  definitely  ascertained  if  such 
an  island  existed.  Concerning  the  first-named  expedi- 
tion, which  was  begun  by  Merkuri  Vagin,  a  Cossack, 
Miiller  found  several  reports  at  Yakutsk,  but  in  his 
opinion  the  documents  did  not  deserve  much  consid- 

Vagin  departed  from  Yakutsk  during  the  autumn 
of  1711,  with  eleven  other   Cossacks,   and   in  May 

*  Knias  Matvei  Gagarin  wrote  to  the  voivod,  under  date  of  January  28, 
1711,  as  follows:  'I  have  heard  by  Cossacs  and  Dworanes  from  Jakutzk 
that  you  intend  to  send  a  party  of  Cossacs  and  volunteers  to  the  new  coun- 
try or  island  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  river  Kolima,  but  that  you  hesitated 
about  doing  it  without  orders;  therefore  I  have  found  it  necessary  to  tell  you 
that  you  should  bj'  no  means  neglect  to  do  it;  and  if  other  islands  may  be 
discovered,  you  will  be  pleased  to  do  the  same  with  respect  to  them.  But 
above  all  things  the  expedition  is  to  be  made  this  present  year,  1711.  This 
I  write  to  you  by  order  of  his  Czarish  Majesty.'  Muller'x  Voy.,  Intr.,  xv.-xvi. 


1712  he  made  a  voyage  from  Ust-Yanskole  Simovie 
to  the  frozen  sea.  On  this  occasion  the  Yakov  Per- 
makof,  previously  mentioned,  served  as  his  guide. 
The  party  used  sledges  drawn  by  dogs,  and  after  fol- 
lowing the  coast  to  Sviatoi  Noss,  they  emerged  upon 
the  frozen  ocean  and  travelled  directly  north.  They 
came  to  a  desert  island,  without  wood,  which  Vagin 
estimated  to  be  from  nine  to  twelve  days'  travel  in 
circumference.  From  this  island  they  saw,  farther  to 
the  north,  another  island  or  land,  but  as  the  spring 
was  already  too  far  advanced,  Vagin  dared  not  pro- 
ceed, and  his  provisions  running  short  the  whole  party 
returned  to  the  continent,  to  provide  themselves  with 
a  sufficient  supply  of  fish  during  the  summer.  The 
point  where  he  reached  the  coast  was  between  Sviatoi 
Noss  and  the  river  Khroma.  A  Cossack  had  formerly 
erected  a  cross  there,  and  after  him  it  was  named  Ka- 
taief  Krest.  Being  out  of  provisions,  they  failed  in 
an  attempt  to  reach  the  Khroma,  and  were  compelled 
to  eke  out  an  existence  on  the  sea-coast,  devouring 
even  the  sledge-dogs.  Vagin,  however,  still  intended 
to  prosecute  his  explorations ;  but  his  Cossacks,  remem- 
bering their  sufferings,  to  prevent  a  repetition,  rose 
against  their  leader  and  murdered  him,  his  son,  the 
guide  Permakof,  and  one  promyshlenik.  The  crime 
w^as  revealed  by  one  of  the  accomplices  and  the  of- 
enders  were  brought  to  justice.  During  the  trial  it 
appeared  that  the  guide  Yakov  Permakof  did  not 
believe  the  supposed  large  island  to  be  really  an  island, 
but  only  vapor. 

The  other  expedition,  that  from  the  Kolima,  met 
with  no  better  success.  It  consisted  of  a  single  vessel 
commanded  by  the  Cossack  Vassili  Stadukhin,  with 
twenty -two  men.  He  merely  observed  a  single  prom- 
ontory, extending  into  the  sea  to  the  east  of  Kolima, 
surrounded  by  ice,  impenetrable  by  their  vessels.^ 

^  They  used  shitihl,  or  boats,  the  planks  of  which  were  fastened  together 
with  rawhide  straps  and  thongs.  They  measured  about  30  feet  in  length  and 
12  feet  broad,  with  a  flat  bottom,  calked  with  moss.    The  sails  consisted  of  soft. 


Another  expedition  was  undertaken  by  a  Cossack 
named  Amossof.  He  started  in  1723  ^Yith  a  party 
to  search  for  an  island  reported  to  extend  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Yana  beyond  the  mouth  of  the  Indigirka. 
He  proceeded  to  the  Kohma,  and  was  prepared  to 
sail  in  July  1724.  According  to  his  account  he  found 
such  shoals  of  ice  before  him  that  he  changed  his 
course  and  sailed  along  the  coast  eastward  to  the  so- 
called  habitation  of  Kopai,  which  he  reached  on  the 
7th  of  August.  Here  again  ice  drove  him  back,  and  he 
returned  to  the  Kolima.  The  dwelling  of  Kopai  was 
about  t\^'0  hundred  versts  east  of  that  river.  Amossof 
also  mentioned  a  small  island  situated  near  the  conti- 
nent, and  during  the  following  winter  he  made  another 
journey,  with  sledges,  of  which  he  sent  an  account  to 
the  chancellery  of  Yakutsk.  The  report  was  to  the 
effect  that  on  the  3d  of  November  1724  he  set  out 
from  Nishnoie  Kolimskoie  Simovie,  and  met  with 
land  in  the  frozen  sea,  returning  to  Kolima  on  the  23d 
of  the  same  month.  Upon  this  land  he  saw  nothing 
but  old  huts  covered  with  earth;  it  was  unknown 
to  what  people  the}^  belonged,  and  what  had  be- 
come of  them.  Want  of  provisi(3ns,  and  especially 
of  doo^-food,  had  oblisfed  him  to  turn  back  without 
making  any  further  discoveries.  This  journey  was 
also  impeded  by  ridges  of  ice  piled  to  a  great  height, 
which  had  to  be  crossed  with  the  sledges.  The  place 
where  Amossof  left  the  continent  to  go  over  to  the 
island  is  .between  the  Chukotcha  and  the  Aliseia 
rivers.  It  was  an  island,  in  circumference  about  a 
day's  travel  with  dogs,  and  about  the  same  distance 
from  the  continent,  whence  its  high  mountains  can 
easily  be  seen.  To  the  north  were  two  other  islands, 
likewise  mountainous  and  separated  by  narrow  straits. 
These  he  had  not  visited  and  did  not  know  their  ex- 
tent.   The  first  \yas  without  trees ;  no  tracks  of  animals 

dressed  reindeei--skin,  and  in  place  of  ropes,  straps  of  elk-skin  were  used.  The 
anchors  were  pieces  of  wood,  to  which  heavy  stones  were  fastened.  MuUer^a 
Voy.,  Introd.,  xviii. 


were  seen  but  those  of  reindeer,  which  live  on  moss. 
The  old  huts  had  been  constructed  of  drift-wood  and 
covered  with  earth.  It  is  probable  that  they  had 
been  made  by  Yukagirs  or  Chukchi,  who  had  fled 
before  the  first  advance  of  the  Russians,  and  subse- 
quently returned  to  the  continent.^ 

Kopai,  mentioned  in  Amossofs  narrative,  was  a 
chief  among  the  Shelages,  living  at  the  mouths  of  the 
Kolima  and  Aliseia  rivers.  He  first  paid  tribute  to 
Russia  at  the  request  of  Vilegin,  a  promyshlenik,  and 
in  1724  he  paid  tribute  to  Amossof  Subsequently, 
however,  he  broke  his  allegiance  and  killed  some  of 
Amossofs  party. 

The  first  passage  by  sea  from  Okhotsk  to  Kam- 
chatka took  place  in  1716.  One  of  the  sailors,  a 
native  of  Hoorn  in  Holland,  named  Bush,  was  alive 
when  Miiller  visited  Yakutsk  in  1736,  and  he  related 
to  him  the  circumstances.  On  the  23d  of  May  1714 
a  party  of  twent}^  Cossacks  and  sailors  arrived  at  Ok- 
hotsk under  command  of  Kosma  Sokolof  These  were 
followed  in  July  by  some  carpenters  and  shipwrights. 
The  carpenters  built  a  vessel  for  sea-service,  resem- 
blino^  the  Russian  lodkas  in  use  between  Arkhans^el, 
Pustozersk,  and  Novaia  Zemlia.  The  vessel  was  du- 
rable— fifty-one  feet  long,  with  eighteen  feet  beam,  and 
drew  when  laden  only  three  and  a  half  feet  of  water. 
Embarking  in  June  1716,  they  followed  the  coast 
north-easterly  till  they  came  to  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Ola,  where  a  contrary  wind  drove  them  across  the  sea 
to  Kamchatka.  The  land  first  sighted  was  a  promon- 
tory north  of  the  river  Tigil,  where  they  cast  anchor. 
Some  went  ashore,  but  found  only  empty  huts.  The 
Kamchatkans  had  watched  the  approach  of  the  vessel 
and  fled  to  the  mountains.  The  navigators  again 
set  sail,  passed  the  Tigil,  and  arrived  in  one  day  at 

^  Miiller  does  not  seem  to  have  placed  much  faith  in  Amossofs  report. 
He  expresses  the  opinion  that  it  was  framed  to  sei-ve  private  purposes  and 
subsequently  altered  to  suit  circumstances.    Voy.,  Introd.,  xx. 


the  mouth  of  the  httle  river  Kharinzobka,  in  the 
vicinity  of  two  small  islands.  From  Kharinzobka 
they  went  the  following  day  to  the  river  Itcha,  keep- 
ing the  sea  at  night  and  making  for  the  land  in  the 
morning.  Here,  again,  some  men  were  put  ashore, 
but  they  could  find  neither  inhabitants  nor  houses. 
They  soon  returned  and  the  vessel  sailed  down  the 
coast  till  they  came  to  the  river  Krutogorova.  They 
intended  to  make  this  river,  but  missed  its  mouth, 
and  finding  a  convenient  bay  a  little  to  the  south 
they  anchored.  On  searching  the  country,  they  met 
with  a  girl  who  was  gathering  edible  roots  in  the 
field,  and  she  showed  them  some  huts,  inhabited  by 
twelve  Kamchatka  Cossacks,  stationed  there  to  receive 
tribute.  The  Cossacks  were  sent  for,  and  served  as 
guides  and  interpreters.  The  vessel  was  then  brought 
to  the  mouth  of  the  river  Kompakova,  and  it  was 
resolved  to  winter  there. ^ 

Earl}^  in  May  1717  they  put  to  sea,  and  on  the 
fourth  day  became  lodged  between  fields  of  ice,  and 
were  held  there  for  over  five  wrecks.  At  last  they 
regained  the  coast  of  Okhotsk  between  the  river  Ola 
and  Tanisky  ostrog,  Avhere  they  stayed  several  days, 
and  then  returned  to  Okhotsk  about  the  middle  of 
July.  From  that  time  there  was  constant  navigation 
between  Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka. 

In  1719  the.Kussian  government  sent  two  naviga- 
tors or  surveyors,  Ivan  Yevreinof  and  Fedor  Lushin, 
to  make  geographical  observations,  and  specially  to 
find,  if  possible,  among  the  Kurile  Islands  the  one 
from  which  the  Japanese  were  said  to  obtain  gold  and 
silver.  They  arrived  at  Yakutsk  in  May  1720,  crossed 
over  to  Kamchatka  the  same  summer,  and  returned 
to  Yakutsk  in  1721.^     Yevreinof  left  Lushin  in  Sibe- 

'  During  the  stay  of  Sokolof  and  Bush  on  the  Kompakova,  a  whale  was 
cast  ashore,  which  had  in  its  body  a  harpoon  of  European  make,  marked  with 
Roman  letters.  Midler's  Voy.,  In  trod.,  xUJ. 

^  The  results  Avere  kept  secret  and  Miiiler  could  not  get  access  to  their  in- 
structions, so  that  nothing  more  is  known  about  this  voyage.  Muller's  Voy.y 
Introd.,  xliii. 


ria  and  proceeded  to  Russia  to  report  to  the  tsar,  tak- 
ing witli  him  a  map  of  the  Kurile  Islands  as  far  as  he 
had  explored  them.  For  the  next  three  years,  that  is 
to  say  to  1724,  rumors  and  ideas  concerning  the  east 
assumed  more  and  more  definiteness  in  Kamchatka, 
and  at  Okhotsk,  Yakutsk,  and  other  Russian  settle- 
ments, at  last  reaching  Moscow  and  St  Petersburg, 
there  to  find  attentive  listeners.'' 

Obviously  the  Great  Land  opposite,  if  any  such 
there  was,  would  present  aspects  quite  difi'erenfc  to  the 
tough  Cossacks  and  to  the  more  susceptible  Europeans 
from  the  south.  The  American  Siberia,  this  farther- 
most north-west  was  once  called,  and  if  to  the  Amer- 
ican it  was  Siberia,  to  the  Siberian  it  was  America. 
The  eastern  end  of  Asia  is  lashed  by  the  keen  east- 
ern tempests  and  stands  bleak  and  bare,  without 
vegetation,  and  the  greater  part  of  the  year  wrapped 
in  ice  and  snow.  The  western  shores  of  America, 
though  desolate  and  barren  enough  within  the  limits 
of  Bering  sea,  are  wonderfully  different  where  they 
are  washed  by  the  Pacific  and  protected  from  the  east 
by  high  chains  of  mountains.  Here  they  are  open  to 
the  mild  westerly  winds  and  warm  ocean  currents; 
they  have  a  damper  climate,  and,  in  consequence,  a 
more  vigorous  growth  of  trees  and  plants.  In  com- 
paratively high  latitudes  they  are  covered  with  fine 
forests  down  to  the  sea-shore.  This  is  a  contrast 
which  repeats  itself  in  all  northern  countries.  The 
ruder  Sweden  in  the  east  contrasts  in  a  like  manner 
with  the  milder  Norway  in  the  west;   the  desolate 

^  Miiller  relates  '  that  in  the  year  1715  there  lived  at  Kamchatka  a  man  of 
a  foreign  nation,  who,  upon  account  of  the  Kamchatkan  cedar-nuts  and  the 
low  sl\nibs  on  which  they  grow,  said  that  he  came  from  a  country  to  the  east 
where  there  were  large  cedars  which  bore  bigger  nuts  than  those  of  Kam- 
chatka ;  that  his  country  was  situated  to  the  east  of  Kamchatka  ;  that  there 
were  found  in  it  great  rivers  where  he  lived  which  discharged  themselves 
westward  into  tlic  Kamclia,tkan  sea;  that  the  inhabitants  called  themselves 
Tontoli;  they  resembled  in  their  manner  of  living  the  people  of  Kamchatka 
and  made  use  of  skin  boats  or  haklares  like  those  of  the  Kamchadales.  That 
many  years  ago  he  went  over  with  some  more  of  his  countrymen  to  Karag- 
inskoi  ostrow  where  his  companions  were  slain  by  the  inhabitants,  and  he 
alone  made  his  escape  to  Kamchatka,'  Voy.,  Introd.,  xxviii. 
Hist.  Alaska.    2 


eastern  coast  of  Greenland  buried  in  polar  ice,  with 
its  western  coast  inhabited,  and  at  times  gay  with 
flowers  and  verdure.  Thus  the  great  eastern  coun- 
try, the  holshaia  zemlia,  rich  in  harbors,  shelter, 
woods,  and  sea  and  land  animals,  might  well  become 
by  report  among  the  north-eastern  Asiatics  a  garden 
of  paradise. 





PuBPOSES  OF  Peter  the  Great— An  Expedition  Organized — Sets  out 
PROM  St  Petersburg — Death  of  the  Tsar — His  Efforts  Seconded 
BY  Catherine  and  Elizabeth— Bering  and  Chirikof  at  Kamchat- 
ka— They  Coast  Northward  through  Bering  Strait  and  Prove 
Asia  to  be  Separated  from  America — Adventures  of  Shestakof — 
Expedition  of  Hens,  Fedorof,  and  Gvozdef — America  Sighted— Or- 
ganization OF  the  Second  General  Expedition — Bfeliography — ■ 
Personnel  of  the  Expedition — Bering,  Chirikof,  Spanberg,  Walton, 
Croyere,  Steller,  Muller,  Fisher,  and  Others — Russian  Religion — 
Easy  Morality —Model  Missionaries — The  Long  "Weary  Way  across 
Siberia— Charges  against  Bering — Arrival  of  the  Expedition  at 

The  excessive  curiosity  of  Peter  the  Great  extended 
further  than  to  ship-building,  astronomy,  and  general 
geography.  Vast  as  was  the  addition  of  Siberia  to 
the  Russian  empire  there  lay  something  more  beyond, 
still  indistinct  and  shadowy  in  the  world's  mind,  and 
the  astute  Peter  determined  to  know  what  it  was. 
The  sea  of  Okhotsk  had  been  found,  and  it  was  in  the 
same  latitude  as  the  Baltic;  the  ostrog  of  Okhotsk 
had  been  built,  and  it  stood  upon  almost  exactly  the 
same  parallel  as  St  Petersburg.  Might  not  there  be 
for  him  an  American  Russia,  as  already  there  was  a 
European  and  an  Asiatic  Russia  ?  And  might  not 
this  new  Russia,  occupying  the  same  relative  position 
to  America  that  the  old  Russia  did  to  Europe,  be 
worth  more  to  him  than  a  dozen  Siberias?  He  would 
see.  And  he  would  know,  too,  and  that  at  once, 
whether  the  continents  of  Asia  and  America  joined. 


This  would  be  a  good  opportunity  likewise  to  try  his 
new  ships,  his  new  discipline,  and  see  what  the  skilled 

fentlemen  whom  he  had  invited  from  Austria,  and 
*russia,  and  Holland  could  do  for  him.  There  were 
many  around  him  whom  his  enthusiasm  had  inspired, 
and  who  wished  to  try  their  mettle  in  strange  ad- 

Such  were  the  thoughts  arising  in  the  fertile  brain 
of  the  great  Peter  which  led  to  what  may  be  called 
the  two  Kamchatka  expeditions;  that  is,  two  prin- 
cipal expeditions  from  Kamchatka,  with  several  sub- 
ordinate and  collateral  voyages,  the  first  of  which 
was  to  ascertain  whether  Asia  and  America  joined  or 
were  separate,  and  the  second  to  thoroughly  explore 
eastern  Siberia,  to  discover  and  examine  the  American 
coast  opposite,  and  to  learn  something  more  of  the 
Kurile  Islands  and  Japan.  Both  explorations  were 
under  the  command  of  Vitus  Bering,  a  Danish  cap- 
tain in  the  Russian  service,  who  was  engaged  on  the 
first  about  five  years,  the  second  series  occupying 
some  sixteen  years,  not  wholly,  however,  under  this 

For  the  guidance  of  his  admiral.  Count  Apraxin, 
the  tsar  drew  up  instructions  with  his  own  hand. 
Two  decked  boats  were  to  be  built  at  Kamchatka, 
and,  to  assist  Bering  in  the  command,  lieutenants  Mar- 
tin Spanberg  and  Alexei  Chirikof  were  appointed. 
Other  officers  as  well  as  ship-builders  and  seamen 
were  chosen,  and  on  February  5,  1725,  the  expedition 
set  out  overland  through  Siberia.  Three  days  there- 
after the  monarch  died;  but  his  instructions  were 
faithfully  carried  out  by  his  successors,  Catherine  the 
wife  and  Elizabeth  the  daughter. 

Much  trouble  was  experienced  in  crossing  the  con- 
tinent, in  obtaining  provisions,  and  in  making  ready 
the  ships;  so  that  it  was  not  until  the  21st  of  August 
1727  that  Bering  with  Chirikof  set  sail  in  the  Fortuna, 
from  Okhotsk,  for  the  southern  end  of  the  Kamchat- 
kan  peninsula,  where  by  July  of  the  following  year 


they  had  ready  another  vessel,  the  Gavril,  or  Gabriel. 
Leaving  the  river  Kamchatka  the  20th  of  July,  they 
coasted  the  eastern  shore  of  the  peninsula  northward, 
till  on  the  8th  of  August  they  found  themselves  in 
latitude  64°  30',  at  the  river  Anadir.  The  Chukchi 
there  told  them  that  after  rounding  East  Cape  the 
coast  turned  toward  the  west.  Continuing,  they 
passed  and  named  St  Lawrence  Island,  and  the 
16th  of  August  they  were  in  latitude  67°  18',  having 
passed  the  easternmost  point  of  Asia,  and  through  the 
strait  of  Bering.  There  the  coast  turned  abruptly 
westward,  as  they  had  been  told.  If  it  continued  in 
that  direction,  as  was  more  than  probable,  Asia  and 
America  were  not  united.^  Bering's  mission  was  ac- 
complished, and  he  therefore  returned,  reaching  Kam- 
chatka in  September. 

In  connection  with  this  first  voyage  of  Bering,  two 
expeditions  were  undertaken  in  the  same  direction 
under  the  auspices  of  Afanassiy  Shestakof,  a  chief  of 
the  Yakutsk  Cossacks.  This  bold  man,  whose  energy 
was  of  that  reckless,  obstinate  type  that  knows  no 
defeat,  went  to  St  Petersburg  and  made  several  pro- 
posals to  the  senate  forthe  subjection  of  the  independent 
Chukchi  and  Koriaks  and  the  unruly  Kamchatkans. 
The  eloquence  with  which  he  advanced  his  scheme 
procured  him  applause  and  success.  He  was  appointed 
chief  of  an  expedition  in  which  to  accomplish  his  heart's 

The  admiralty  appointed  a  Hollander,  Jacob  Hens, 
pilot;  Ivan  Fedorof,  second  in  command,  Mikhail  Gvoz- 
def,  '"geodesist,"  or  surveyor;  Herdebal,  searcher  of 
ores,  and  ten  sailors.  He  was  to  proceed  both  by 
land  and  by  sea.  From  the  arsenal  at  Catherineburg, 
Siberia,  he  was  to  be  provided  with  small  cannons  and 
mortars,  and  ammunition,  and  a  captain  of  the  Siberian 
regiment  of  dragoons  at  Tobolsk,  Dmitri  Pavlutzki, 

^  Miiller,  Voy.  4,  is  in  error  when  he  says  that  'the  circumstances  on  which 
the  captain  founded  his  judgment  were  false,  he  being  then  in  a  bay  which, 
although  one  shore  did  trend  to  the  west,  the  opposite  shore  ran  again  to  the 
east.'    Bering's  suppositions  were  coi-rect  in  every  particular. 


was  ordered  to  join  him,  each  receiving  command 
over  four  hundred  Cossacks,  ^Yhile  at  the  same  time 
all  the  Cossacks  stationed  in  ostrogs  and  simovies,  or 
winter-quarters,  in  the  Chukchi  district,  were  placed 
at  their  disposal.  With  these  instructions  Shestakof 
returned  to  Siberia  in  June  1727.  At  Tobolsk  he  re- 
mained till  late  in  November,  wintered  on  the  upper 
Lena,  and  arrived  at  Yakutsk  the  next  summer.  There 
a  dispute  arose  between  Shestakof  and  Pavlutzki, 
which  caused  their  separation.  In  1729  Shestakof 
went  to  Okhotsk  and  there  took  possession,  for  the 
purposes  of  his  expedition,  of  the  vessels  with  which 
Bering  had  lately  returned  from  Kamchatka.  On  the 
1st  of  September  he  despatched  his  cousin,  the  syn- 
hoyarsJci,ov  bastard  noble,  Ivan  Shestakof,  in  the  Gavril 
to  the  River  Ud,  whence  he  was  to  proceed  to  Kam- 
chatka and  begin  explorations,  while  he  himself  sailed 
in  the  Fortuna.  This  vessel  was  wrecked  near  Taniski 
ostrog,  and  nearly  all  on  board  perished,  Shestakof 
barely  saving  his  life  in  a  canoe.  With  a  small  rem- 
nant of  his  men  and  some  friendl}^  Tunguses  and  Kor- 
iaks  he  set  out  for  Kamchatka  on  foot,  but  on  the 
14th  of  March  1730  he  was  overpowered  near  the 
gulf  of  Penshinsk  by  a  numerous  body  of  Chukchi 
and  received  a  mortal  wound.  Only  three  days  before 
this  Shestakof  had  sent  orders  to  Taniski  ostrog  that 
the  Cossack  Tryfon  Krupischef  should  embark  for 
Bolsheretsk  in  a  sea-o^oing^  vessel,  thence  make  his 
way  round  the  southern  point  of  the  peninsula,  touch 
at  Nishekamchatsk,  and  proceed  to  the  river  Ana- 
dir. The  inhabitants  of  the  "large  country  lying 
opposite  to  this  river"  he  must  ask  to  pay  tribute  to 
Russia.  Gvozdef,  the  navigator,  was  to  be  taken  on 
board  if  he  desired,  and  shown  every  respect. 

After  battling  with  adverse  winds  and  misfortunes 
for  about  two  years,  the  explorers  passed  northward 
along  the  Asiatic  shore,  by  the  gulf  of  Anadir,  noting 
the  Diomede  Islands,  and  perhaps  catching  a  glimpse 
of  the  American  shore.     The  leaders  were  quarrelling 


W    '  ^ 

""  7          §//lv         . 





^1  '    >.;l^ 

g    ^ 


1?        ^ 

1     r-  te^ 



5  ''      '^      ( 

^1    !■  1  4 




-    '    i 

n  < 

:   * 

y     ~^ 









^  .   _  ^ 

-           --    '^                ^ ^1 


continually,  and  Fedorof,  the  navigator  in  command, 
was  lame  and  confined  to  his  bed  during  nearly  all 
the  voyage.  On  their  return  to  Kamchatka  they  made 
the  most  contradictory  statements  before  the  author- 
ities. From  Gvozdef  s  report  we  are  told  that  at  some 
time  during  the  year  1730  he  found  himself  between 
latitude  65°  and  66°,  "on  a  strange  coast,  situated 
opposite,  at  a  small  distance  from  the  country  of  the 
Chukchi,  and  that  he  found  people  there,  but  could 
not  speak  with  them  for  want  of  an  interpreter."^ 

The  land  expedition  was  more  successful.  In  Sep- 
tember 1730  Jacob  Hens,  the  pilot,  received  intelli- 
gence from  Pavlutzki,  dated  at  Nishnekolimsk,  to 
the  effect  that  Shestakof  s  death  would  not  delay  the 
expedition.  Hens  was  to  go  with  one  of  the  ves- 
sels left  at  Okhotsk  by  Bering,  to  the  river  Anadir, 
to  the  head-waters  of  which  Pavlutzki  was  shortly  to 
march.  Whereupon  Hens  proceeded  in  the  Gavril  to 
the  mouth  of  the  Kamchatka,  where  he  arrived  in 
July  1731,  and  was  told  that  a  rebellious  band  of 
Kamchatkans  had  come  to  Nishnekamchatsk  ostrog, 
killed  most  of  the  Russians  there,  and  set  fire  to  the 
houses.  The  few  remaining  Russians  took  shelter  in 
the  vessel,  and  Hens  sent  men  and  reduced  the  Kam- 
chatkans to  obedience.  This,  however,  prevented  his 
going  to  the  Anadir  River. 

^Muller's  Voyages,  8-11.  Of  the  commander  of  this  expedition,  Ivan 
Fedorof,  we  have  but  little  information  beyond  the  fact  that  he  died  in 
February  1733,  and  that  he  had  been  -with  Shestakof's  expedition  in  1727; 
that  he  had  been  ordered  to  join  him  together  with  the  mate  Hens,  and 
the  surveyor  Gvozdef.  His  companion  and  assistant,  and  finally  successor 
in  command,  Mikhail  Spiridonovich  Gvozdef,  l^egan  liis  education  in  1716,  at 
the  school  of  navigation,  and  in  1719  attended  the  St  Petersburg  Naval 
Academy,  being  in  the  surveying  class.  In  1721  he  was  sent  on  government 
duty  to  Novogorod,  where  he  remained  till  1725.  In  1727  he  graduated  as 
surveyor,  and  was  sent  to  Siberia  to  join  Shestakof.  After  his  exploration  in 
Bering  Strait,  he  was  arrested  in  1735  by  the  governor  of  Siberia  at  Tobolsk, 
upon  an  erroneous  accusation,  and  sent  back  to  Okhotsk  in  1736.  In  1741 
he  explored  and  surveyed  the  Okhotsk  coast  for  200  versts  southward,  and  in 
1742  he  accompanied  midshipman  Sc^ielting  to  the  Shantar  Islands,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Amoor.  After  the  disbandment  of  the  Kamchatka  expedition 
he  remained  in  Siberia  till  1754,  when  he  was  appointed  teacher  in  the  naval 
corps  of  cadets.  The  date  of  his  death  is  not  known.  Zapishi,  Hydrocjrafi- 
cheskar/o  Dej>artamenta,  ix.  78-87. 

It  is  possible  that  Gvozdef's  voyage  was  of  greater  importance  than  the 


Meanwhile  Pavlutzki  had  arrived  at  Anadirskoi 
ostrog  in  September  1730,  and  the  following  year  he 
undertook  a  campaign  against  the  obstinate  Chuk- 
chi. On  the  12th  of  March  1731  he  put  in  motion 
his  column,  composed  of  215  Russians,  160  Koriaks, 
and  60  Yukagirs,  moving  along  the  head- waters  of 
some  of  the  northern  tributaries  of  the  Anadir,  and 
then  turninaf  northward  to  the  coast  of  the  Arctic. 
After  marching  two  months  at  the  rate  of  about 
ten  versts  a  day,  stopping  frequently  to  rest,  Pav- 
lutzki arrived  at  the  frozen  sea,  near  the  mouth 
of  a  river.  For  two  weeks  he  travelled  eastward  along 
the  coast,  mostly  upon  the  ice  and  far  from  the  shore. 
This  was  done,  probably,  for  the  purpose  of  avoiding 
an  encounter  with  the  natives,  but  at  last,  on  the  7th 
of  June,  a  large  body  of  Chukchi  was  seen  advancing, 

writers  of  that  period  ascribed  to  it.  lu  the  year  1743  Captain  Spanberg  of 
Bering's  expedition  was  commissioned  by  the  imperial  government  to  inves- 
tigate the  results  of  this  voyage.  In  case  of  a  failure  to  obtain  satisfactory 
information,  Spanl^erg  was  to  take  command  of  another  expedition  to  review 
and  correct  the  work  of  Gvozdef  and  Fedorof.  Spanberg  evidently  entered 
upon  this  duty  with  his  usual  energy,  and  as  upon  his  report  the  order  for  a 
new  expedition  was  countermanded  from  St  Petersburg,  we  may  suppose 
that  Spanberg  at  least  was  satisfied  that  the  information  obtained  by  Gvozdef 
and  Fedorof  was  satisfactory.  Spanberg  found  in  addition  to  two  depositions 
made  to  Gvozdef  on  the  subject  an  original  journal  kept  by  Fedorof  alone, 
'for  his  own  personal  remembrance.'  With  the  help  of  this  document  a  chart 
was  compiled  by  Spanberg  under  Gvozdef's  supervision,  illustrative  of  the 
voyage  in  question.  The  chart  was  finally  transmitted  to  the  admiralty 
college,  where  copies  were  executed,  but  the  original  can  no  longer  be  found. 
In  his  journal  we  find,  after  a  detailed  accurate  description  of  the  Diomede 
Islands,  leaving  no  room  for  doubt  as  to  their  identity,  an  entry  to  the  eflect 
that  after  sailing  from  the  mouth  of  the  Anadir  River  they  steered  in  an  east- 
erly direction,  and  after  sailing  five  days  with  favorable  wind,  they  saw  land 
on  their  left  side  (northerly  side),  and  hoped  to  find  it  an  island.  They  made 
directly  for  this  land,  but  when  they  had  approached  within  half  a  verst, 
they  saw  that  it  was  not  an  island,  but  a  continent.  The  coast  was  sand  and 
there  were  dwellings  on  the  shore,  and  a  number  of  people.  There  was  also 
timber  on  this  land,  spruce  and  larch.  They  coasted  along  this  land,  keeping 
it  on  the  left  side  for  five  days,  and  then,  not  seeing  the  end  of  it,  they  did 
not  dare  to  go  any  farther  in  that  direction  because  the  water  became  too 
shallow  for  their  small  craft.  The  same  statement  was  confirmed  in  the 
deposition  of  Shurikhin,  a  member  of  the  expedition,  also  examined  by  Span- 
berg. Gvozdef,  Fedorof,  and  Shurikhin  agree  in  the  statement  that  the 
natives  of  the  'continent'  used  skin  boats  covered  on  top  or  the  Eskimo's 
kiak,  which  is  found  only  on  the  American  side  of  the  strait.  The  descrip- 
tion of  the  land  would  fit  well  the  country  about  Norton  Sound,  the  only 
point  on  all  that  coast  where  the  timber  approaclies  the  shore.  The  shallow 
water  found  going  to  the  southward,  would  also  indicate  that  they  approached 
the  remarkable  shoals  lying  off  the  mouths  of  the  Yukon  Eiver.  Sokolqf, 
Istoria;  Morskoi  Ssboruik,  passim. 


and  as  they  would  not  listen  to  Pavlutzki's  summons 
to  obedience,  he  attacked  and  put  them  to  flight. 
About  the  last  of  June  another  battle  was  fought 
and  with  the  same  result.  After  a  rest  of  three  days 
the  march  toward  Chukotskoi  Noss  was  resumed,  but 
another  larger  body  of  natives  was  met  with  there  and 
a  third  battle  ensued,  during  which  some  articles  were 
recovered  which  had  been  in  possession  of  Shestakof. 
Pavlutzki  claimed  this  engagement,  also,  as  a  victory 
and  declared  his  total  loss  in  the  three  battles  to  have 
been  but  three  Russians,  one  Yukagir,  and  five  Ko- 
riaks  killed.  But  the  Chukchi  were  by  no  means 
subdued.  After  reaching  the  cape  the  expedition  re- 
turned across  the  country  in  a  south-easterly  direction 
and  in  October  reached  ostrog  Anadirskoi.^  Pav- 
lutzki finally  died  at  Yakutsk  with  the  rank  of  voivod. 
His  explorations  were  carried  on  with  indomitable 
courage  and  rare  ability,  and  altogether  his  achieve- 
ments furnish  a  worthy  prelude  to  those  of  Bering 
and  Chirikof  a  few  years  later.  The  feat  of  marching 
across  the  country  of  the  warlike  Chukchi  was  not 
repeated  till  half  a  century  later,  when  a  party  under 
Billings,  not  as  an  army  defying  interference,  but  as 
an  humble  expedition,  were  suffered  to  pass  by  the 
insolent  natives,  who  robbed  them  at  every  step  with 

The  second  Kamchatka  expedition,  under  the 
auspices  of  the  empress  Elizabeth,  was  the  most 
brilliant  effort  toward  scientific  discovery  which  up 
to  this  time  had  been  made  by  any  government.*    It 

*  Mutter's  Very.,  11-15;  Coxe's  Russian  Discoveries,  237;  Burney's  Chron. 
Hist,  128-37,  196etseq. 

*  The  sources  of  information  concerning  this  expedition  are  numerous,  but 
not  altogether  satisfactory.  The  first  account,  brief  and  wholly  unreliable, 
was  published  by  the  Parisian  geographer  De  LTsle,  in  1752,  in  a  pamphlet 
entitled  Explication  de  la  Carte  des  Nouvelles  Decouvertcs  au  Nord  de  la  Mer 
du  Sud.  In  1753  there  was  printed  at  Berlin,  also  in  French,  and  immedi- 
ately translated  into  English  and  German,  though  never  published  in  Russian, 
a  Letter  of  a  JRussian  Naval  Officer,  which  was  ascribed  to  Miiller,  who  con- 
tradicted the  statements  of  De  LTsle,  and  gave  his  own  version.  Engel,  in 
his  Geoyraphische  und  Kritische  Nachrichten,  ii.  44,  47,  endeavors  to  prove 


must  be  borne  in  mind  that  Siberia,  discovered  and 
named  by  the  Cossacks  in  the  sixteenth  century, 
was  in  the  earher  part  of  the  eighteenth  but  httle 
known  to  European  Russia,  and  the  region   round 

Miiller  to  be  the  author  of  the  letter.  In  1758  Miiller  published  a  volume 
entitled  Voyages  and  Discoveries  of  the  Hussians  in  the  Arctic  Sea,  and  the 
Eastern  Ocean,  in  both  German  and  Russian,  which  was  translated  into  Eng- 
lish in  1771,  and  into  French  in  1776.  The  volume  is  accompanied  by  maps, 
and  covers  the  entire  ground,  without,  however,  going  into  minor  details,  and 
without  doing  justice  to  the  vast  work  performed  by  the  attendant  scientists. 
This  was  the  chief  authority  until  Sokolof  took  up  the  subject  in  a  lengthy 
communication  to  the  Zapiski  Hydrograficheskago  Departamenta  in  1851. 

In  18'20  another  brief  description  of  the  expedition  was  furnished  by 
Sarychef,  under  the  title  of  Voyages  of  Eussian  Naval  Officers  in  the  Arctic 
Seas,  from  1734  to  1742,  printed  in  vol.  iv.  of  the  publications  of  the  Russian 
admiralty  department.  In  the  mean  time  other  publications  connected  with 
or  resulting  from  the  expedition,  though  not  treating  of  it,  appeared  at  vari- 
ous times,  such  as  the  Flora  Siberica,  by  Gmelin,  published  serially  between 
17-49  and  1769;  A  Voyage  through  Siberia,  also  by  Gmelin,  in  1752;  A  his- 
tory of  Siberia,  under  the  title  of  Sammlung  russischer  geschichten,  by  Miiller, 
in  1732-6;  Description  of  the  Kamchatka  Country,  by  Krashennikof,  in  1755; 
History  of  Siberia,  by  Fisher,  in  1768  (this  was  in  German,  the  Russian 
translation  appearing  only  in  1774);  Description  of  the  Kamchatka  Country, 
by  Steller,  in  1774;  Journcd  of  a  Voyage  from  Kamchatka  to  America,  also  by 
Steller,  published  in  1793,  in  Pcdlas,  Neue  Nord.  Beitr. ;  A  Detailed  Descrip- 
tion of  the  Voyages  from  the  White  Sea  to  the  Gulf  of  Obi  appeared  in  the 
Foiir  Voyages  of  Lutke,  in  1826;  in  1841  Wrangell  published  a  Voyage  in 
Siberia,  with  frequent  allusions  to  the  second  Kamchatka  expedition.  A 
few  articles  on  the  results  of  the  expedition  in  the  fields  of  natural  history, 
astronomy,  and  history  appeared  in  papers  of  the  Imperial  Academy  of  Sci- 
ences, and  the  documents  collected  by  Miiller  from  the  Siberian  archives  for 
his  history  of  Siberia  have  been  published  from  time  to  time  in  the  proceed- 
ings of  the  imperial  Russian  historical  and  archceological  commission.  The 
most  reliable  source  of  information  upon  this  subject  has  been  found  in  the 
archives  of  the  Russian  naval  department.  The  documents  concerning  the 
doings  of  the  Bering  expedition  comprise  25  large  bundles  of  over  30,000 
pages;  these  documents  extend  over  a  period  of  17  years,  between  1730  and 
1747.  The  archives  of  the  hydrographic  department  of  the  Russian  navy 
contain  the  journals  of  navigation  of  nearly  all  the  vessels  engaged,  all  in 
copies  only.  The  original  journals  and  maps  were  sent  in  1754  to  Irkutsk 
and  placed  in  the  hands  of  Miatlef,  governor  of  Siberia,  with  a  view  to  a 
resumption  of  the  labors  of  the  expedition;  thence  the  papers  were  trans- 
ferred in  1759  to  Governor  Saimonof  at  Tobolsk,  and  they  were  finally  given 
to  Sokolof,  above  mentioned,  by  N.  N.  Muravief,  governor  general  of  eastern 
Siberia,  for  the  purpose  of  writing  an  account  of  the  expedition.  The  greater 
part  of  these  documents  were  copies  made  by  pupils  of  the  naval  corps  of 
cadets  and  of  the  nautical  academy,  and  though  written  clearly  and  care- 
fully, they  are  full  of  egregious  errors.  The  collection  comprises  over  60 
manuscript  volumes.  The  copies  of  the  original  maps  accompanying  the 
journals  were  also  carelessly  made.  In  the"  archives  and  library  of  the 
imperial  academy  there  exists  the  so-called  'Miiller  Portfolio,' containing  a 
large  number  of  reports,  letters,  and  journals  of  members  of  the  academy 
accompanying  the  expedition,  wi-itten  in  Russian,  French,  German,  and  Latin. 
The  only  naval  journal  found  in  this  collection  was  kept  by  Master  Khitrof, 
and  is  the  most  valuable  thing  in  the  portfolio.  Sokolof's  account  of  the 
second  Kamchatka  expedition  begins  with  the  following  dedication  of  his 
work  to  Peter  the  Great:  '  To  thee  I  dedicate  this  work,  to  thee  without 


Kamchatka  scarcely  at  all.  The  maps  of  the  day 
were  problematical.  The  semi-geographical  mission 
of  the  surveyors  Lushin  and  Yevreinof  to  the  Kurile 
Islands  in  1719-21  had  been  barren  of  results.  The 
first  expedition  of  Bering  from  1725  to  1730  had 
advanced  along  the  river  routes  to  Okhotsk,  thence 
by  sea  to  Kamchatka,  and  northward  to  the  straits 
subsequently  named  after  him,  but  made  few  discov- 
eries of  importance,  determining  the  astronomical 
positions  of  points  and  j)laces  only  by  latitude  without 
longitude,  but  revealing  the  trend  of  the  Kamchatka 
coast  to  the  northward.  The  expedition  of  Shestakof 
from  1727  to  1732  was  more  of  a  military  nature, 
and  resulted  in  little  scientific  information.  The  ex- 
ploration of  Hens,  Fedorof,  and  Gvozdef,  made  about 
the  same  time,  was  scarcely  more  satisfactory  in  its 
results,  thouofh  it  served  to  confirm  some  thino^s  re- 
ported  by  Bering  during  his  first  voyage. 

Russia  wished  to  know  more  of  this  vast  uncovered 
region,  wished  to  map  its  boundaries,  and  mark  off 
her  claim.  The  California  coast  had  been  explored 
as  far  as  Cape  Mendocino,  but  over  the  broad  area 
thence  to  the  Arctic  there  still  hung  the  great  North- 
ern Mystery,^  with  its  Anian  Strait,  and  silver  moun- 
tains, and  divers  other  fabulous  tales.  The  northern 
provinces  of  Japan  were  likewise  unknown  to  the 
enlightened  world;  and  now  the  Muscovite,  who  had 
sat  so  long  in  deep  darkness,  would  teach  even  the 
Celt  and  Saxon  a  thing  or  two. 

Soon  after  the  return  of  Bering  from  his  first  expe- 
dition, namely,  on  the  30th  of  April  1730,  the  com- 
mander presented  to  the  empress  two  letters  called 
by   him,    "  Proposals   for   the    Organization   of    the 

•whom  it  would  not  exist,  since  the  discoveries  described  in  the  same  are  the 
fruit  of  the  great  ideas  conceived  by  thee,  the  benefactor,  father,  and  organizer 
of  this  vast  empire;  to  thee  are  thy  subjects  indebted  for  law,  good  order,  and 
influence  within  and  without,  as  well  as  for  morality,  knowledge,  and  every- 
thing else  that  makes  a  nation  fortunate  and  important.'  Zajnski  Hydrograji- 
cheskaijo  Departamenta,  i.x.  199. 

*  For  a  full  exposition  of  which  see  Hist.  Northwest  Coast,  i. ,  and  Hist.  Cat. , 
i.,  passim,  this  series. 


Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka  country,"  and  advised  an 
immediate  discovery  of  routes  to  America  and  Japan 
for  the  purpose  of  estabhshing  commercial  relations 
with  these  countries.  He  also  recommended  that  the 
northern  coast  of  the  empire  between  the  rivers  Ob 
and  Lena  be  thoroughly  explored.^  The  organization 
of  the  country  already  known,  commanded  the  first 
attention  of  the  empress,  to  which  end  she  issued,  on 
the  10th  of  May  1731,  an  oukaz  ordering  the  former 
chief  ])rokuror,  or  sergeant-at-arms  of  the  senate, 
Skorniakof  Pisaref,  then  in  exile,  to  assume  control  of 
the  extreme  eastern  country,  and  be  furnished  with 
the  necessary  means  to  advance  its  interests.  The 
residence  of  the  new  official  was  to  be  Okhotsk,  to 
which  point  laborers  and  settlers  were  to  be  sent  from 
Yakutsk,  together  with  a  boat-builder,  three  mates, 
and  a  few  mechanics.^  The  exile-governor  did  not 
however  long  hold  his  position.  Scarcely  had  he 
assumed  office  when  the  second  Kamchatka  expedi- 
tion was  decided  upon  and  Vitus  Bering  received  the 
supreme  command  of  all  the  territory  included  in  his 

At  that  time  several  circumstances  combined  to 
carry  forward  the  plans  of  Bering  to  their  highest 
consummation.  The  empire  was  at  peace  and  the 
imperial  cabinet  was  presided  over  by  Count  Oster- 
mann,  who  had  formerly  been  secretary  of  Admiral 
Cruce,  and  had  devoted  considerable  attention  to  naval 
affairs.  In  the  senate  the  expedition  Avas  earnestly 
supported  by  the  chief  secretary  Kirilof ;  in  the  ad- 
miralty college  Count  Golovin  presided  as  the  ruling 

^Appendix  to  Sokolof 's  Second  Expedition.  Zapislci  Hydrograjicheshago 
Departamenta,  ix.  434. 

'  Grigor  Skorniakof  Pisaref  was  appointed  to  command  Okhotsk  as  an  in- 
dependent district.  His  annual  salary  was  fixed  at  300  rubles,  100  bushels  of 
rye  meal,  and  100  buckets  of  brandy.  This  individual  had  a  checkered 
career.  In  1715  he  was  a  captain  in  the  Preobrashenski  lifeguards,  and 
attached  to  the  academy  of  naval  artillery;  in  1719,  he  was  made  comman- 
der of  the  naval  academy;  in  1720  he  published  a  book,  Practical  Manual  of 
Statistics  and  Mechanics;  in  1722  he  was  made  'chief  prokuror'  of  the  senate; 
in  1723  he  was  relieved  from  the  academy  by  Captain  Narishkin;  in  1727,  he 
was  punished  with  the  knout  and  sent  to  Siberia  as  an  exile.  Morshoi  Sbor- 
nik,  i.  11,  17. 


spirit,  while  the  prokuror  was  Saimonof,  the  rival  of 
Kirilof.  The  foreign  members  of  the  Academy  of 
Sciences,  in  order  to  preserve  their  prestige,  were 
looking  about  for  fields  of  activity,  anxious  to  serve 
their  new  fatherland.  The  spirit  of  Peter  the  Great 
was  yet  alive  among  the  leading  subjects  of  the 
empire;  his  plans  were  still  fresh  in  the  memory  of 
men,  and  all  were  eager  to  execute  his  progressive 
purposes.  And  soon  all  Siberia  was  flooded  with  men 
of  science  searchino^  out  thinojs  both  laro-er  and  smaller 
than  sables,  and  throwing  Cossack  and  promyshlenik 
completely  into  the  shade.  By  toilsome  processes 
the  necessary  means  of  subsistence  and  materials 
were  collected  at  the  central  stations  throughout 
Siberia,  and  along  the  thirteen  hundred  leagues  of  Arc- 
tic sea-coast  were  placed  at  various  points  magazines 
of  supplies  for  explorers.  From  six  to  seven  months 
were  sometimes  occupied  in  transporting  from  the 
forest  to  the  seaports  trees  for  ship-building.  And 
many  and  wide-spread  as  were  the  purposes,  every 
man  had  his  place.  To  every  scientist  was  given  his 
work  and  his  field,  to  every  captain  the  river  he  was  to 
reconnoitre,  or  the  coast  he  was  to  explore.  And  when 
the  appointed  time  came  there  set  forth  simultane- 
ously, from  all  the  chief  i^iver-mouths  in  Siberia,  like 
birds  of  passage,  little  exploring  expeditions,  to  begin 
their  battle  with  the  ice  and  the  morass.  Some  brought 
their  work  to  a  quick  and  successful  issue;  others 
encountered  the  sternest  difficulties. 

But  the  adventures  which  chiefly  concern  us  are 
those  pointing  toward  the  American  continent,  which 
were  indeed  the  central  idea  of  all  these  undertakings, 
and  by  far  the  most  important  outcome  from  this 
Siberian  invasion  by  the  scientists.  Before  embark- 
ing on  the  first  great  eastern  voyage  of  discovery,  let 
us  glance  at  the  personnel  of  the  expedition. 

Captain-commander  Ivan  Ivanovich  Bering,  so  the 
Bussians  called  him,  notvyithstanding  his  baptismal 
name  of  Vitus,  was  a  Dane  by  birth,  as  I  have  said,  who 


had  been  in  the  Russian  naval  service  about  thirty 
years,  advancing  gradually  from  the  rank  of  sub-lieuten- 
ant since  1704.  He  was  strong  in  body  and  clear  of 
mind  even  when  nearly  sixty;  an  acknowledged  man 
of  intelligence,  honesty,  and  irreproachable  conduct, 
though  in  his  later  years  he  displayed  excessive  care- 
fulness and  indecision  of  character,  governed  too  much 
by  temper  and  caprice,  and  submitting  too  easily  to  the 
influence  of  subordinates.  This  may  have  been  the  effect 
of  age,  or  of  disease;  but  whatever  the  cause,  he  was 
rendered  thereby  less  fit  to  command,  especially  so  im- 
portant and  hazardous  an  adventure  in  so  inhospitable 
a  region  as  Siberia  at  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century.  He  had  been  selected  by  Peter  the  Great 
to  command  the  first  expedition  upon  the  representa- 
tions of  admirals  Seniavin  and  Sievers,  because  "  he 
had  been  to  India  and  knew  all  the  approaches  to  that 
country."^     After  his  return  he  had  advanced  gradu- 

^  In  the  archives  of  the  admiralty  council  in  St  Petersburg  there  is  still 
preserved  a  manuscrijDt  copy  of  the  original  instructions  indited  by  Peter  the 
Great  for  the  first  Bering  expedition.  The  instructions  were  finally  promul- 
gated by  the  admiralty  college,  or  perhaps  by  Count  Apraxin,  and  had  been 
corrected  in  the  great  tsar's  own  handwriting,  to  read  as  follows: 

'1.  To  select  such  surveyors  as  have  been  in  Siberia  and  have  returned 
thence;  upon  which,  at  request  of  the  senate,  the  following  surveyors  were 
ordered  to  the  province  of  Siberia:  Ivan  Evreinof  (died),  Feodor  Lushin, 
Peter  Skobeltzin,  Ivan  Svostunof,  Dmitri  Baskakof,  Vassili  Shetilof,  and 
Grigor  Putilof. 

'  2.  To  select  from  naval  lieutenants  or  second  lieutenants,  such  as  are  fit  to 
be  sent  to  Siberia  and  Kamchatka.  In  the  opinion  of  Vice-admii'al  Sievers  and 
Contre-admiral  Seniavin,  the  most  desirable  individuals  of  that  class  were  lieu- 
tenants Stanberg  (Spanberg?),  Zveref  or  Kessenkof,  and  the  sub-lieutenants 
Chirikof  and  Laptief.  It  would  not  be  bad  to  place  over  these  as  commander 
either  Captain  Bering  or  Von  Verd;  Bering  has  been  to  East  India  and  knows 
the  routes,  and  Von  Verd  was  his  mate. 

'  3.  To  select  from  the  master-mechanics  or  apprentices  such  as  are  able  to 
build  a  decked  boat  according  to  our  model  used  with  big  ships;  and  for  the  same 
purpose  to  select  four  carpenters  with  their  instruments,  as  young  as  possible, 
and  one  quartermaster  and  eight  sailors.  The  boat-builder  apprentice,  Feo- 
dor Kozlof,  has  all  the  required  qualifications,  being  able  to  draught  plans  of 
decked  boats  and  to  build  them.  (In  Peter  the  Great's  own  handwriting: 
It  is  absolutely  necessary  to  have  some  mate  or  second  mate  who  has  been  to 
North  America. ) 

'4.  The  usual  complement  of  sails,  blocks,  ropes  etc.,  and  four  falconets, 
with  the  necessary  ammunition,  should  be  increased  by  half — doubled,  in 
Peter's  own  handwriting. 

'5.  If  such  a  mate  cannot  be  found  in  the  fleet  it  is  necessary  to  write  im- 
mediately to  Holland  for  two  men,  experienced  navigators  in  the  Northern  or 
Japan  seas,  and  to  forward  them  at  once  by  way  of  Anadirsk.     Vice-admiral 


ally  to  the  rank  of  captain-commander,  and  had  re- 
ceived a  cash  reward  of  a  thousand  rubles,  an  amount 
commonly  granted  at  that  time  to  envoys  returning 
from  distant  countries.  He  was  now  anxious  to  ob- 
tain the  rank  of  contre-admiral  for  his  long  services 
and  discoveries.  The  admiralty  college  made  repre- 
sentations to  that  effect  to  the  imperial  cabinet,  but  no 
reply  was  received.^ 

Next  in  command,  appointed  with  Bering,  and  who 
had  served  as  junior  officer  on  the  first  expedition,  and 
now  a  captain,  was  Alexei  Ilich  Chirikof,  one  of  the 
best  officers  of  his  day,  the  pride  and  hope  of  the  fleet. 
Russian  historians   are    perhaps  a  little  inclined   to 

Sievers  promises  to  forward  these  men  immediately  if  they  can  be  found  in 
the  imperial  fleet  Another  addition  in  Peter's  own  handwriting:  The  rig- 
ging may  be  omitted,  the  rest  is  all  right.  Signed  on  the  23d  of  December, 

^  Berg  in  his  researches  into  Siberian  history  foimd  several  documents 
giving  biographical  details  concerning  Bering  and  his  family,  which  may  be 
of  some  interest  to  the  reader.  He  had  with  him  in  Siberia  his  wife  and  chil- 
dren, two  sons  named  Thomas  and  Unos,  who  were  still  alive  in  the  city  of 
Revel  when  Sokolof  wrote  his  history  of  the  expedition.  The  -wife,  Anna 
Matveievna.  was  a  young  and  lively  woman  and  apparently  not  without  influ- 
ence; possibly  a  little  unscrupulous.  At  all  events  it  is  known  that  in  conse- 
quence of  certain  i-umors  the  senate  issued  an  order  in  September  173S  to 
keep  an  eye  on  the  wife  of  Captain-commander  Bering,  then  on  her  way  from 
Siberia,  as  well  as  on  other  members  of  the  expedition  about  to  return,  and 
to  detail  for  the  pui-pose  an  'able  man.'  This  supervision  was  proved  to  be 
necessary  on  the  Siberian  frontier,  as  it  appeared  that  the  lady  carried  in  her 
baggage  a  large  quantity  of  furs  and  government  property.  However,  on  her 
arrival  at  ISIoscow  she  surrendered  everything,  made  a  few  presents  to  the 
customs  officials,  and  hurried  to  St  Petersburg,  where  she  informed  the  in- 
spectors that  she  did  not  belong  to  Siberia  but  to  St  Petensburg.  In  1744, 
when  she  asked  for  a  widow's  pension,  or  the  award  of  her  husband's  salary 
for  one  year,  she  declared  that  she  was  39  years  of  age;  and  in  1750,  when  she 
again  petitioned  for  a  pension,  her  age  was  given  as  40 — not  an  uncom- 
mon mistake  made  bj'  ladies.  As  characteristic  of  Bering's  mind,  Sokolof 
produces  a  letter  written  by  him  to  Lieutenant  Blunting,  who  at  that  time, 
1738,  was  quarrelling  with  the  commander  of  the  port  of  Okhotsk,  Pisaref. 
'  You  know  yourself  better  than  I  what  kind  of  a  man  Pisaref  is, '  he  writes. 
'It  is  always  better  when  a  rabid  dog  is  about,  to  get  out  of  his  way  in  order 
not  to  be  bitten  when  it  is^none  of  our  business.  You  are  yourself  somewhat 
to  blame,  and  perhaps  you  think  that  as  an  ofljcer  you  are  exempt  from  pun- 
ishment, but  if  Captain-commander  Villebois  was  your  commander,  you  would 
have  been  punished' though  you  are  an  officer.  I  know  not  under  what  weak 
commanders  you  have  served  to  cause  you  to  act  as  you  do;  remember  this 
and  take  care  of  yourself  in  the  future,  if  you  would  avoid  a  sore  head.  No- 
body knows  his  fate,  perhaps  you  will  be  an  admiral  yet,  as  has  happened 
to  Nikolai'  Fedorovich  Golovin,  president  of  the  admiralty  college,  but  for- 
meiiy  he  was  only  a  sub-lieutenant  under  my  command;  and  look  at  Shafirof, 
what  honors  have  been  bestowed  upon  him,  according  to  our  latest  letters. 
Pisaref 's  fate  is  fortunately  hidden  from  him.  That  may  be  your  consolation. ' 
Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  209-10. 


magnify  the  faults  of  Bering  the  Dane  as  well  as  the 
merits  of  Chirikof  the  Russian.  The  latter  they  say 
was  well  educated,  courageous,  and  straightforward, 
bright  of  intellect  as  well  as  thoughtful,  and  whose 
kind  heart  the  exigencies  of  the  cruel  naval  service  had 
never  been  able  wholly  to  debase.  He  had  graduated 
from  the  naval  academy  in  1721,  and  had  been  at  once 
promoted  to  a  sub-lieutenancy,  skipping  the  rank  of 
midshipman.  He  was  at  first  attached  to  the  fleet, 
but  subsequently  received  an  appointment  at  the  naval 
academy  as  instructor  of  the  marines  of  the  guard. 
"While  in  that  position  he  was  presented  to  Peter  the 
Great  by  Sievers  and  Seniavin  as  one  of  the  officers 
selected  to  join  the  first  Bering  expedition.  He  was 
placed  under  the  immediate  command  of  Bering,  to- 
gether with  Spanberg,  in  1725.  Before  setting  out 
he  was  promoted  to  lieutenant,  and  gave  evidence 
throughout  the  expedition  of  great  courage  and  com- 
mon-sense. On  his  return  in  1730  he  was  made  a 
captain-lieutenant;  two  years  later,  in  1732,  he  was 
again  promoted  and  made  full  captain,  "  not  by  sen- 
iority but  on  account  of  superior  knowledge  and 
Avorth,"  as  they  said.  At  the  time  of  his  appoint- 
ment he  was  on  special  duty  at  Kazan,  and  he  re- 
turned to  St  Petersburg  only  a  few  days  before  the 
departure  of  the  expedition  in  February  1733;  but 
he  still  found  time  to  give  most  valuable  assistance  in 
framing  the  final  instructions.^*' 

The  third  in  command  was  Captain  Martin  Petrovich 
Spanberg,  a  countryman  of  Bering,  a  native  of  Den- 

^°  It  is  remarkable  that  in  all  the  accounts  of  quarrels  between  the  heads  of 
the  various  detachments  of  scientists  and  naval  officers  serving  under  Bering's 
command,  the  name  of  Chirikof  is  never  found.  He  seems  to  have  had  the  good- 
will of  every  one  and  escaped  all  complaints  from  superiors;  he  had  with 
him  in  Siberia  a  wife  and  daughter.  On  his"  return  from  the  American  coast 
he  lived  in  the  town  of  Yenisseisk,  suffering  from  consumption  until  1746;  in 
that  year  he  was  ordered  to  St  Petersburg,  and  upon  his  arrival  was  again 
appointed  to  the  naval  academy.  In  the  same  year  he  was  transferred  to 
Moscow  to  look  after  some  naval  affairs  of  importance,  and  on  that  occasion 
he  made  several  propositions  for  the  organization  of  further  exploring  expe- 
ditions. He  died  in  1747  with  rank  of  captain-commander.  Morskoi  Sbor- 
nik,  iv.  213-14. 

Hist.  Alaska.    4 


mark.  It  is  not  known  when  he  entered  the  Kussian 
service,  but  he  accompanied  the  first  expedition  as 
senior  officer.  He  was  ilhterate,  with  a  reckless  au- 
dacity, rough,  and  exceedingly  cruel,  avaricious  and 
selfish,  but  strong  in  mind,  bod}^,  and  purpose,  of  great 
energy,  and  a  good  seaman.  His  bad  reputation  ex- 
tended over  all  Siberia,  and  was  long  preserved  in  the 
memory  of  the  people.  Sibiriaks  feared  him  and  his 
wanton  oppression.  Some  of  them  thought  him  a 
great  general,  while  othei-s  called  him  an  escaped  ex- 
ecutioner. He  was  always  accompanied  by  a  dog  of 
huge  dimensions,  which  it  was  said  would  tear  people 
to  pieces  at  his  master's  command.  Chirikof  thought 
him  possessed  of  some  sparks  of  a  noble  ambition,  but 
all  was  put  down  by  his  subordinates  to  a  love  of 
tyranny.  His  knowledge  of  the  Russian  language  was 
exceedingly  limited.  Having  been  made  a  captain- 
lieutenant  during  the  first  expedition,  he  was  now  a 
captain,  like  Chirikof,  but  higher  on  the  list  Little 
is  said  of  his  share  in  the  work  performed  by  the  expe- 
dition, but  his  name  occurs  in  hundreds  of  complaints 
and  petitions  from  victims  of  his  licentiousness,  cruelty, 
and  avarice.  He  was  just  the  man  to  become  rich. 
On  his  return  from  Siberia  he  brought  with  him  a 
thousand  yards  of  army  cloth,  a  thousand  bales  of  fur, 
and  whole  herds  of  horses.  He  carried  to  Siberia 
his  wife  and  son,  and  they  accompanied  him  at  sea.^^ 
Such  is  the  character  of  the  man  as  presented  by 
Russian  authorities,  which  are  all  we  have  on  the 
subject.  Again  it  will  be  noticed  that  while  Chirikof, 
the  Russian,  is  highly  praised,  Spanberg,  the  Dane, 
is  roundly  rated,  and  we  may  make  allowance  accord- 

"  He  returned  to  St  Petersburg  from  Siberia  without  orders  in  1745,  and 
■v^as  promptly  placed  under  arrest  and  remanded  for  trial.  His  sentence  was 
death,  but  in  the  mean  time  other  charges  had  been  preferred,  based  upon  com- 
plaints of  the  people  of  Siberia,  and  the  sentence  was  postponed.  After  many- 
delays  he  was  released  at  the  request  of  the  Danish  ambassador.  In  1749  he 
was  given  the  command  of  a  newly  constructed  man-of-war,  which  foundered 
on  leaving  the  harbor  of  Arkhangelsk;  for  this  he  was  again  tried  by  court- 
martial  and  again  acquitted.  He  died  at  last  in  1761,  with  the  rank  of  cap- 
tain of  the  first  class.  Sokolof,  in  Zap.  Ilydr.,  ix.  215-26. 


Of  the  other  officers  of  the  expedition  there  is  not 
much  to  be  said,  as  they  were  not  prominently  con- 
nected with  the  discovery  of  the  American  coast. 
Lieutenant  Walton,  the  companion  of  Spanberg,  was 
an  Englishman  who  had  entered  the  Russian  service 
only  two  years  before.  Midshipman  Schelting  was  an 
illegitimate  son  of  Contre-admiral  Petrovski,  a  Hol- 
lander. He  was  twenty-five  years  of  age  and  had 
been  attached  to  the  fleet  only  two  years.  Lieutenant 
Lassenius,  the  senior  officer  of  the  Arctic  detach- 
ments, who  was  instructed  to  explore  the  coast  beyond 
the  Lena  river,  was  a  Dane.  He  had  also  but  recently 
entered  the  Russian  service.  According  to  Gmelin 
he  was  a  skilful  and  experienced  officer;  later  he  was 
relieved  by  Lieutenant  Laptief,  also  an  old  lieutenant 
who  had  been  recommended  to  Peter  the  Great  for 
the  first  expedition  as  a  considerate  and  courageous 
man.  The  less  said  of  the  morals  of  any  of  these 
mariners  the  better.  Neither  the  age  nor  the  nation 
was  conspicuous  for  justice  or  refinement.  Drinking 
and  gambling  were  among  the  more  innocent  amuse- 
ments, at  least  in  the  eyes  of  the  sailors,  among  whom 
were  the  most  hardened  villains  that  could  be  picked 
out  from  the  black  sheep  of  the  naval  service.  There 
can  be  no  doubt  that  an  almost  brutal  discipline  was 
sometimes  necessary,  but  the  practice  of  it  was  com- 
mon. In  regard  to  honesty,  we  must  not  suppose  that 
the  appropriation  of  public  property  by  officers  of  the 
government  was  then  regarded  as  a  greater  crime  than 

Upon  the  request  of  the  senate  the  imperial  acad- 
emy had  instructed  its  member,  Joseph  de  L'Isle, 
to  compile  a  map  of  Kamchatka  and  adjoining  coun- 
tries; but  not  satisfied  with  this,  the  senate  demanded 
the  appointment  of  an  astronomer  to  join  the  expedi- 
tion accompanied  by  some  students  advanced  in  astron- 
omy, and  two  or  three  versed  in  mineralogy.  Two 
volunteers   for  this    service  were  found  among  the 


academicians,  Johann  Gmelin,  professor  of  chemistry 
and  natural  history,  and  Louis  de  L'Isle  de  la  Croyere, 
a  brother  of  the  map-maker  and  professor  of  astron- 
omy. These  were  joined  by  a  third,  Gerhard  Miiller, 
professor  of  history  and  geography.  The  senate 
accepted  these,  but  ordered  further  twelve  students 
from  the  Slavo-Latin  school  at  Moscow  to  be  trained 
in  the  academy  for  the  proposed  expedition.  The 
admiralty  college  urged  the  necessity  of  extending 
the  exploration  over  the  whole  northern  coast  of 
Siberia,  and  it  was  then  that  were  appointed  as  com- 
manders subordinate  to  Bering,  Spanberg,  and  Chi- 
rikof,  one  lieutenant,  three  sub-lieutenants,  and  a 
command  of  servants  and  soldiers  numbering  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty-seven  in  all.  A  few  members  of  the 
college  proposed  to  send  the  whole  expedition  to  the 
coast  of  Kamchatka  round  the  world  by  sea,  the 
earliest  plan  toward  circumnavigation  conceived  by  a 
Russian;  but  their  counsel  did  not  prevail. ^^ 

The  command  of  the  proposed  expedition  to  Japan 
was  given  to  Captain  Spanberg,  assisted  by  Lieuten- 
ant Walton  and  Midshipman  Schelting.  The  explor- 
ation of  the  northern  coast  was  intrusted  to  lieutenants 
Muravief  and  Pavlof;  lieutenants  Meygin,  Skuratof^ 
and  Ovtzin  were  also  appointed  but  subsequently  re- 
lieved by  Masters  Minnin,  Pronchishchef,  and  Las- 
senius.  The  two  latter  died  and  were  replaced  by  two 
brothers,  the  lieutenants  Hariton  and  Dmitri  Laptief. 
Another  detail  consisted  of  three  lieutenants,  Waxel, 
Plunting,  and  Endogarof,  four  masters,  twelve  master's 
mates,  ship  and  boat  builders,  three  surgeons,  nine 
assistant  surgeons,  a  chaplain,  six  monks,  commissaries, 
navigators,  a  number  of  cadets  and  sailors,  all  num- 
bering five  hundred  and  seventy  men.  From  the 
academy  the  final  appointments  were  the  naturalist 
Gmelin  and  the  historian  Miiller,  who  were  subse- 
quently relieved  by  Steller  and  Fisher;  the  astronomer 

^2  Both  Berg,  in  his  Lives  of  Admirals,  ii.  238,  and  Gmelin,  in  his  Voyage 
in  Siberia,  make  mention  of  these  j)roposals. 


De  L'Isle  de  la  Croyere,  with  five  students,  four  sur- 
veyors, who  were  increased  in  Siberia  by  four  more, 
an  interpreter,  an  instrument-maker,  two  artists,  and 
a  special  escort  of  fourteen  men.  An  engineer  and 
architect  named  Frederick  Stael  was  also  attached  to 
the  expedition  for  the  construction  of  roads  and  har- 
bors, but  he  died  on  his  way  to  Siberia. 

Miiller  and  Gmelin  were  both  young  men,  the  first 
being  twenty-eight  and  the  other  twenty-four.  They 
were  learned  and  enthusiastic  German  scientists  who 
had  come  to  Russia  several  years  before,  one  as  a 
doctor  of  medicine  and  professor  of  chemistry  and 
natural  history,  the  other  as  professor  of  history  and 
geography.  Both  attained  distinction  in  the  scientific 
world.  De  L'Isle  de  la  Croyere  was  also  well  edu- 
cated, though  conspicuous  rather  as  a  lover  of  good 
eating  and  drinking,  than  as  a  learned  man." 

Another  scientific  member  of  the  expedition,  who 
joined  it  somewhat  later,  was  George  Wilhelm  Steller. 
He  was  born  in  Winsheim,  Franconia,  on  the  10th 
of  March  1709,  He  studied  theology  and  natural 
science  in  the  universities  of  Wittenberg,  Leipsic,  and 
Jena,  and  settled  in  Halle,  devoting  himself  chiefly 
to  anatomy,  botany,  and  medicine.  He  proceeded  to 
Berlin  and  passed  a  brilliant  examination,  and  in  1734 
he  joined  the  Russian  army  before  Dantzic,  doing 
duty  as  staff-surgeon.  In  December  he  was  sent  to 
St  Petersburg  with  a  ship-load  of  wounded  soldiers. 
Here  he  accepted  the  position  of  leib  medicus,  or  body- 
surgeon  to  the  famous  bishop  of  Novgorod,  Theo- 
phanos  Prokopovich,  a  favorite  of  Peter  the  Great, 
and  with  him  he  remained  till  his  death,  except  when 
serving  in  Siberia. 

When  Bering  left  St  Petersburg  to  enter  upon  his 

^^  According  to  Berg  and  Sokolof,  Gmelin  returned  to  his  own  country 
shortly  after  returning  from  this  expedition  in  the  year  1749,  having  obtained 
his  final  discharge  from  the  Russian  service.  He  died  in  1755.  Miiller  was 
appointed  historian  in  the  Academy  of  Science  in  1747;  from  1754  to  1765  he 
was  conference  secretary  of  the  academy;  in  1705  he  was  appointed  director 
of  the  Foundling  House  of  Moscow,  and  in  1766  he  was  placed  in  charge  of 
the  Moscow  archives  of  the  foreign  office.     He  died  in  1783. 


second  expedition,  Steller,  then  of  the  imperial  acad- 
emy, was  ordered  to  join  the  expedition  specially  to 
examine  the  natural  history  of  Kamchatka.  He 
reached  his  new  field  in  1758.  In  1740,  after  giving 
ample  proof  of  his  ability  and  energy  by  making  fre- 
quent and  valuable  shipments  of  specimens  for  the 
museum  of  the  academy,  he  forwarded  a  petition  to 
the  senate  for  permission  to  accompany  Lieutenant 
Spanberg  on  his  voyage  to  Japan.  While  awaiting 
an  answer  he  was  importuned  by  Bering  to  join  his 
expedition.  Steller  replied  that  in  the  absence  of 
orders  he  would  draw  upon  himself  the  displeasure 
of  the  authorities,  but  the  commander  said  he  would 
assume  all  responsibility  and  provide  him  with  an 
official  memorandum  to  that  effect,  and  a  regular  ap- 
pointment to  take  charge  of  the  department  of  natural 
science  in  his  expedition.  Steller  finally  consented, 
and  we  are  indebted  to  him  for  some  of  the  most  re- 
liable information  concerning  the  Russian  discoveries 
on  the  American  coast. -^^ 

In  consideration  of  distance  and  privations  the 
empress  doubled  every  salary.  The  departure  of  the 
expedition  began  in  February  1733.  Bering  and 
Chirikof  were  instructed  to  build  at  Okhotsk  or  in 
Kamchatka,  wherever  it  was  most  convenient,  two 
vessels  of  the  class  then  called  packet-boats,  and  then 
to  proceed,  in  accordance  with  the  plans  of  Professor 
De  la  Croyere,  without  separating,  to  the  exploration 
of  the  American  coast,  which  was  supposed  to  lie  but 
a  short  distance  from  Kamchatka.  After  reaching 
that  shore  they  were  to  coast  southward  to  the  forty- 
fifth  parallel,  and  then  return  to  the  north,  crossing 

'*  These  scientists  had  a  way  of  marrying,  with  the  view  of  throwing  some 
pai't  of  their  infelicities  upon  their  wives.  Steller  tried  it,  as  MuUer  and 
Fisher  had  done,  and  as  the  rough  old  scca-captains  used  to  do,  but  he  found 
his  wife  one  too  many  for  him.  She  was  the  widow  of  a  certain  Doctor  Mes- 
serchmidt,  and  daughter  of  a  Colonel  Von  Bochler,  and  did  not  at  all  object  to 
become  the  wife  of  the  rising  young  scientist,  but  to  go  to  Siberia,  Kamchatka, 
perhaps  to  the  north  pole,  was  quite  a  different  matter.  True,  she  promised 
him,  but  that  was  before  marriage,  which  of  course  did  not  count.  And  the 
sorrowful  Steller  was  at  last  obliged  to  go  wifeless  to  his  ice-fields,  leaving  his 
spouse  to  flirt  the  weary  hours  away  at  the  gay  capital.  Mortikoi  Sbornik,  c.  145. 


back  to  Asia  at  Bering  Strait.  If  the  season  proved 
too  short  they  were  authorized  to  go  into  winter-quar- 
ters, and  conclude  the  work  the  following  season. 
Captain  Spanberg  was  to  proceed  from  Okhotsk  in 
the  direction  of  Japan  with  one  ship  and  two  sloops, 
beginning  his  explorations  at  the  Kurile  Islands.  In 
order  to  facilitate  the  progress  of  the  expedition  the 
local  Siberian  authorities  were  instructed  to  erect  on 
the  banks  of  the  principal  rivers,  and  on  the  Arctic, 
beacons  to  indicate  the  location  of  the  magazines  of 
provisions  and  stores  for  the  various  detachments,  and 
also  to  inform  all  the  nomadic  natives  of  Siberia  and 
the  promyshleniki,  that  they  must  assist  the  members 
of  the  expedition  as  far  as  lay  in  their  power. 

One  important  purpose  of  the  expedition  was  to 
discover  a  new  route  to  the  Okhotsk  Sea  without 
passing  Yakutsk,  by  going  through  the  southern  dis- 
tricts of  Siberia,  and  striking  the  head- waters  of  the 
Yuda,  which  had  been  reported  navigable.  A  warn- 
ing was  attached  to  the  instructions  against  crossing 
the  Amoor,  "in  order  not  to  awaken  the  suspicions  of 
the  Chinese  government,"  The  academicians  Gmelin 
and  Miiller  were  intrusted  with  the  exploration  of 
the  interior  of  Siberia  and  Kamchatka,  assisting  each 
other  in  their  researches,  and  making  a  general  geo- 
graphical survey  with  the  assistance  of  the  cadet  en- 
gineers attached  to  their  detachment.  Croyere,  with 
some  of  the  students  who  had  been  in  training  at 
the  observatory  of  the  academy  for  several  years,  was 
to  make  astronomical  observations  along  the  route 
of  progress,  and  accompany  Bering  to  the  coast  of 
America.  He  was  granted  great  liberty  of  action,  and 
furnished  with  ample  means,  the  best  instruments  to 
be  obtained  at  that  time,  and  a  numerous  escort  of 
soldiers  and  laborers. 

It  was  an  unknown  country  to  which  they  were 
all  going,  and  for  an  unknown  time.  The  admiralty 
college  had  thought  six  years  sufficient,  but  most 
were  going  for  sixteen  years,  and  many  forever.     Be- 


sides  nearly  all  the  officers,  a  number  of  the  rank  and 
file  were  taking  with  them  their  wives  and  children. 
Lieutenant  Ovtzin  and  one  naval  officer  were  the  first 
to  leave  for  Kazan  in  order  to  begin  their  prepara- 
tions. Captain  Spanberg  with  ten  mechanics  set  out 
next  to  erect  temporary  buildings  along  the  road  and 
in  the  towns  of  Siberia,  for  the  accommodation  of  the 
expedition.  In  March  1733  other  members  took  their 
departure,  followed  by  lengthy  caravans  loaded  with 
supplies  from  the  storehouses  of  the  admiralty.  The 
scientists  from  the  academy  tarried  in  St  Petersburg 
till  August,  and  then  proceeded  to  Kazan  to  join  their 
companions.  At  the  beginning  of  winter  the  whole 
force  had  advanced  as  far  as  Tobolsk,  where  they  went 
into  winter-quarters.  In  the  spring  of  1734  the  ex- 
pedition embarked  on  small  vessels  built  during  the 
winter  on  the  rivers  Ob,  Irtish,  and  Yenissei.  The 
main  body  arrived  at  Yakutsk  in  the  summer  of  1735, 
after  having  wintered  at  some  point  beyond  Irkutsk. 
Bering  himself  had  proceeded  by  land  from  Tobolsk 
and  reached  Yakutsk  in  October  1734,  in  advance  of 
nearly  all  his  assistants.  Here  the  winter  was  again 
utilized  for  the  construction  of  boats,  and  in  the  spring 
of  1735  the  lieutenants  Pronchishchef  and  Lassenius 
proceeded  northward  down  the  Lena  Piver,  with  the 
intention  of  sailing  eastward  along  the  Arctic  coast. 
The  transportation  of  men  and  stores  to  Okhotsk 
was  accomplished  partly  in  boats,  and  partly  on  horse- 
back over  a  rugged  chain  of  mountains.  This  proved 
to  be  the  most  laborious  part  of  the  journey.  Captain 
Spanberg  had  been  the  first  to  arrive  at  Okhotsk, 
having  travelled  in  advance  of  the  expedition;  but 
on  arrival  he  discovered,  to  his  dismay,  that  nothing 
had  been  done  by  the  local  commander  to  prepare  for 
the  reception  of  so  large  a  body.  Not  a  building  had 
been  erected,  not  a  keel  laid,  and  the  only  available 
logs  were  still  standing  in  the  forest.  Spanberg  went 
to  work  at  once  with  his  force  of  mechanics,  but  lack 
of  provisions  caused  frequent  interruptions  as  the  men 


were  obliged  to  go  fishing  and  hunting.  After  a 
while  the  commander  of  the  Okhotsk  country,  Skor- 
niakof  Pisaref,  made  his  appearance.  He  offered  no 
excuse  and  his  presence  did  not  mend  matters,  Pisa- 
ref  and  Spanberg  had  both  been  invested  with  extra- 
ordinary powers,  independent  of  each  other,  and  both 
were  stubborn  and  inclined  to  quarrel.  The  former 
lived  in  a  fort  a  short  distance  up  the  river,  while 
the  latter  had  built  a  house  for  himself  at  the  mouth 
of  the  river,  where  he  intended  to  establish  the  port. 
Each  had  his  separate  command,  and  each  called  him- 
self the  senior  officer,  threatening  his  opponent  with 
swift  annihilation.  Each  lorded  it  over  his  dependants 
and  exacted  abject  obedience,  and  we  may  well  im- 
agine that  the  subordinates  led  a  wretched  life. 

Bering  at  Yakutsk  encountered  much  the  same 
difficulties  as  Spanberg,  but  on  a  larger  scale.  His 
supplies  were  scattered  along  the  road  from  the  fron- 
tier of  Asia  to  Yakutsk  awaiting  transportation,  and 
the  most  urgent  appeals  to  the  Siberian  authorities 
failed  to  secure  the  requisite  means.^^  It  had  been 
the  captain-commander's  intention  to  facilitate  his  in- 
tercourse with  the  natives  of  Kamchatka  by  means 
of  missionary  labor.  Immediately  after  his  return 
from  the  first  expedition,  he  had  petitioned  the  holy 

^^  Sgibnef,  in  his  History  of  Kamchatka,  gives  the  reasons  for  the  delay. 
It  would  seem  after  all  that  government  was  none  too  rigorous  in  Siberia.  It 
appears  that  the  quarrels  between  Spanberg  and  Pisaref  were  preceded  by 
petty  altercations  between  the  latter  and  the  voivod  in  command  at  Yakutsk. 
As  early  as  1732  Pisaref  had  been  instructed  to  draw  all  necessary  supplies 
from  Yakutsk,  but  the  voivod  Shadovski  refused  to  give  him  anything. 
Pisaref  complained  to  the  governor  at  Irkutsk  and  received  an  oukaz  empow- 
ering him  to  confine  Shadovski  in  irons  until  he  issued  what  was  needed  for 
the  jorosecution  of  work  at  Okhotsk.  Subsequently  another  oukaz  came  to 
Tobolsk  ordering  Shadovski  to  arrest  Pisaref,  which  was  no  sooner  done  than 
the  order  was  revoked.  Meanwhile  working  parties  were  forwarded  to 
Okhotsk  evei'y  year,  but  want  of  provisions  forced  them  to  desert  before  any- 
thing had  been  accomplished.  Numbers  of  these  workmen  died  of  starvation 
on  the  road.  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cv.  25-7.  Under  date  of  October  7,  1738,  an 
order  was  issued  from  the  chancellery  of  Irkutsk  providing  for  the  preparation 
of  '  sea-stores '  for  the  Bering  expedition  in  Kamchatka.  The  quantity  was 
determined  to  the  pound,  as  well  as  the  quality,  and  si^ecial  instructions  were 
given  for  the  manufacture  of  liquor  from  sarana,  a  kind  of  fern,  and  for  its 
preservation  in  casks.  If  necessary,  the  whole  population  of  Kamchatka  was 
to  be  employed  in  gathering  this  plant,  and  to  be  paid  for  their  labor  in 
tobacco.  Sgibnef,  in  Morskoi  Sbornik,  ci.  137-40. 


synod  for  missionaries  to  undertake  the  conversion  of 
the  Kamchatkans.  The  senate  promulgated  a  law 
exempting  all  baptized  natives  of  that  country  for  ten 
years  from  the  payment  of  tribute  to  the  government. 
The  first  missionary  selected  for  the  new  field  was  the 
monk  Filevski,  a  great  preacher  and  pillar  of  the 
church,  but  before  reaching  Kamchatka  he  was 
arrested  on  the  river  Aldan,  for  assaulting  and  half 
killing  one  of  the  monks  of  his  suite,  and  for  refusing 
to  hold  divine  services  or  to  read  the  prayers  for  the 
imperial  family.  Religion  in  Siberia  had  seemingly 
run  mad.  After  his  arrival  in  Kamchatka  he  added 
much  to  the  general  confusion  by  acts  of  violence  and 
a  meddlesome  spirit,  which  stirred  up  strife  alike 
among  clergy  and  laity,  Russians  and  natives. 

The  position  of  Bering  was  exceedingly  trying;  on 
him  must  fall  the  odium  attending  the  faults  and 
misfortunes  of  them  all.  Throughout  the  journey, 
and  afterward  to  the  end,  complaints  were  forwarded 
to  Irkutsk,  Tobolsk,  and  St  Petersburg.  That  he 
was  a  foreigner  made  it  none  the  less  a  pleasure  for 
the  Russians  to  curse  him.  The  senate  and  admiralty 
college  were  exasperated  by  reason  of  the  slow  move- 
ment, beiuH"  is'norant  of  the  insurmountable  obstacles. 
First  among  the  accusers  was  the  infamous  Pisaref, 
who  charged  both  Bering  and  Spanberg  with  licen- 
tiousness and  "excessive  use  of  tobacco  and  brandy." 
He  reported  that  up  to  that  time,  1737,  nothing  had 
been  accomplished  for  the  objects  of  the  expedition, 
and  nothing  could  be  expected  beyond  loss  to  the 
imperial  treasury;  that  the  leaders  of  the  expedition 
had  come  to  Siberia  only  to  fill  their  pockets,  not 
only  Bering,  but  his  wife,  who  was  about  to  return  to 
Moscow;  and  that  Bering  had  received  valuable  pres- 
ents at  Irkutsk  from  contractors  for  supplies.  An- 
other officer  in  exile,  a  captain-lieutenant  of  the  navy, 
named  Kozantzof,  represented  that  Bering's  force  was 
in  a  state  of  anarchy,  that  all  its  operations  were 
carried  on  at  a  wasteful  expenditure,  and  that  in  his 


opinion  nothing  would  come  of  it  all.  Spanberg  him- 
self began  to  refuse  obedience  to  Bering,  complaining 
bitterly  of  the  delay  in  obtaining  stores  for  his  voy- 
age to  Japan.  Bering's  immediate  assistant,  Chirikof, 
received  instructions  from  St  Petersburg  to  inquire 
into  some  of  these  complaints.  Another  of  the  officers 
of  the  expedition,  Blunting,  being  dissatisfied  with 
Bering's  non-interference  in  his  quarrel  with  Pisaref, 
insulted  the  former  and  was  tried  by  court-martial 
and  sentenced  to  the  ranks  for  two  months.  To  re- 
venge himself,  the  young  lieutenant  sent  charges 
to  St  Petersburg,  reflecting  on  Bering's  conduct,  one 
of  which  was  illicit  manufacture  of  brandy  and  the 
expenditure  of  powder  in  making  fireworks,  as  well  as 
the  "employment  of  the  drum  corps  for  his  own  amuse- 
ment, though  there  was  nothing  to  rejoice  over." 

The  members  of  the  academy  also  became  dissatis- 
fied and  complained  of  abuse  and  ill-treatment  on  the 
part  of  Bering,  asking  to  be  relieved  from  obedience 
to  him  as  commander.  In  1738  the  expense  of  the 
expedition,  which  had  not  then  left  the  sea-coast,  was 
over  three  hundred  thousand  rubles  in  cash  paid  from 
the  imperial  treasury,  without  counting  the  great 
quantities  of  supplies  furnished  by  the  various  dis- 
tricts in  kind.  At  this  rate  Alaska  would  cost  more 
than  it  could  be  sold  for  a  hundred  years  hence.  The 
empress  issued  an  oukaz  on  the  15th  of  September 
1738,  instructing  the  senate  and  the  admiralty  col- 
lege to  review  the  accounts  of  the  Kamchatka  expe- 
dition, and  ascertain  if  it  could  not  be  carried  on 
without  such  a  drain  on  the  treasury.  The  senate 
reported  that  the  cost  thus  far  made  it  necessary  to 
continue  the  work  or  all  would  be  lost.  Much  time 
was  wasted  in  correspondence  on  these  matters,  and 
only  at  the  beginning  of  1739  did  the  main  body  reach 
Okhotsk.  In  July  an  officer  named  Tolbukhin  arrived 
with  orders  from  the  empress  to  investigate  the  "doings 
of  Bering."  He  was  followed  in  September  by  Lari- 
onof,  another  officer  who  had  been  ordered  to  assist 


him.  The  supply  of  provisions  at  Okhotsk  was  alto- 
gether inadequate  to  the  large  number  of  men  stationed 
there.  During  the  winter  following  the  suffering 
became  so  great  that  Bering  was  obliged  to  send  large 
detachments  away  to  regions  where  they  could  support 
themselves  by  hunting.  At  that  time  the  whole  force 
consisted  of  141  men  at  Okhotsk,  192  employed  in  the 
magazines  and  in  the  transportation  of  stores,  70  at 
Irkutsk,  39  in  attendance  upon  the  various  officers 

Plan  of  Okhotsk. 

and  scientists,  and  141  on  the  three  vessels  already 
built,  in  all  583  men.  Under  Spanberg's  active  super- 
vision two  vessels  had  been  built,  the  brigantine,^rM- 
angel  Mikhail,  and  the  double  sloop,  Nadeshda,  or 
Hope;  and  two  old  craft,  the  Fortuna,  reconstructed 
in  some  degree  from  the  first  of  that  name,  and  the 
Gavril,  had  been  repaired.  Spanberg  was  ready  to 
go  to  sea  in  September,  but  lack  of  provisions  detained 
him.^^    In  October  the  sloop  Fortuna  was  sent  to  Kam- 

^^  According  to  Bering's  report  of  November  29,  1737,  the  quantity  of 
provisions  on  hand  in  all  his  magazines  in  Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka  consisted 
of  10.4fl9  pounds  of  flour;  1,784  lbs.  grits;  249  lbs.  hard  bread;  G59  lbs.  salt; 
182  lbs.  dried  fish;  21 1  lbs.  butter;  48  lbs.  oil;  and  683  buckets  of  brandy.  At 
the  same  time  he  forwarded  a  requisition  tor  1738  for:  1,912  lbs.  flour;  2,566 

ALL  EEADY.  61 

chatka  for  a  cargo  of  pitch  for  the  ship-building  at 
Okhotsk.  The  mate  Kodichef,  and  the  surveyor 
Svitunof,  in  charge,  were  instructed  to  carry  the  pro- 
visions that  had  accumulated  in  the  Kamchatkan 
magazines  to  Bolsheretsk,  as  the  most  convenient 
port  from  which  to  transfer  them  to  the  vessels  of 
Bering's  expedition.  The  student  Krashonnikof  also 
went  to  Kamchatka  in  the  Fortuna.  On  the  13th 
of  October,  when  about  to  enter  the  river  at  Bol- 
sheretsk, the  wretched  craft  was  overtaken  by  a  gale 
and  thrown  upon  the  shore.  The  future  historian  of 
Kamchatka,  Krashennikof,  reached  the  land  "clad  in 
one  garment  only." 

Despite  the  apparently  insurmountable  difficulties 
resulting  from  want  of  transportation  and  lack  of  sup- 
plies, Bering  and  Chirikof  found  themselves  in  readi- 
ness to  go  to  sea  in  the  month  of  August  1740.  At 
that  time  the  number  of  men  at  Okhotsk  belonging 
to  the  expedition  was  166,  with  80  engaged  in  the 
transportation  of  stores  over  the  mountain  trails. 
During  the  summer  the  astronomer  Croyere  with 
his  suite  had  arrived  at  Okhotsk,  accompanied  by  the 
naturalist  S teller.  Toward  the  end  of  August  an 
event  occurred  that  filled  Bering  and  his  officers  with 
joy.  The  great  stumbling-block  of  the  expedition  and 
its  most  persistent  enemy,  Pisaref,  was  relieved  from 
his  official  position  by  another  exile,  Antoine  Deviere, 
a  former  favorite  of  Peter  the  Great,  and  chief  of 
police  of  St  Petersburg. ^^  According  to  Sgibnef, 
Deviere  was  the  first  honorable   and  efficient  com- 

Ibs.  meal;  2,369  lbs.  hard  bread;  1,026  lbs  meat;  410  lbs.  fish;  554 lbs.  butter; 
75  lbs.  oil;  and  320  buckets  of  brandy.  For  the  year  1739  his  requisition  for 
his  own  and  for  Spanberg's  expedition  was:  930  lbs.  flour;  2,565  lbs.  meal; 
4,617  lbs.  hard  bread;  1,025  lbs.  meat;  4l0  lbs.  fish;  546  lbs.  butter;  163  lbs. 
salt,  and  660  buckets  of  brandy.  With  the  flour  it  was  not  only  necessary 
to  make  kvass,  but  to  bake  hard  bread;  the  meal  was  oatmeal,  which  was 
issued  because  pease  and  barley  could  not  be  obtained.  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  337. 
1"  It  was  in  1738  that  Antoine  Devifere  was  cliief  of  police  of  the  Russian 
capital,  but  falling  into  disgrace  he  M-as  sent  to  Siberia.  In  1741  he  was 
made  commander  of  Okhotsk,  and  in  1742  recalled  to  St  Petersburg  by 
Elizabeth,  made  a  count,  and  restored  to  his  former  position.  He  died  in 
1745.  Morskoi  SborniL  cv.  31,  33. 


mander  of  Okhotsk.  He  sold  the  property  which  his 
predecessors  had  dishonestly  obtained,  and  with  the 
proceeds  paid  the  arrears  of  salaries.  Under  his 
active  supervision  buildings  were  erected,  a  school 
established,  and  everything  arranged  for  a  quick 
despatch  of  the  American  expedition.^^ 

^^  It  was  at  the  suggestion  of  Bering  that  Devifere  opened  this  the  first 
school  in  Kamchatka  in  1741;  it  was  located  at  Bolsheretsk  and  began  its 
operations  with  20  pupils.  Morskoi  Sbornik,  ci.  142. 




The  D^y  of  Departure — Arrival  of  Imperial  Despatches — They  Set 
Sail  from  Okhotsk — The  '  Sv  Petr'  and  the  *  Sv  Pavel'— Bering's 


Wintering  at  Avatcha  Bay — Embarkation — Ill-feeling  between 
Chirikof  and  Bering — The  Final  Parting  in  Mid-ocean — Adven- 
TURr;  OF  Chirikof— He  Discovers  the  Mainland  of  America  in 
Latitude  55°  21' — The  Magnificence  of  his  Surroundings — A 
Boat's  Crew  Sent  Ashore — Another  Sent  to  its  Assistance — All 
Lost! — Heart-sick,  Chirikof  Hovers  about  the  Place — And  is 
finally  Driven  Away  by  the  Wind — He  Discovers  Unalaska, 
Adakh,  and  Attoo — The  Presence  of  Sea-otters  Noticed — Sick- 
ness— Return  to  Avatcha  Bay — Death  of  Croyere — Illness  of 

Six  years  the  grand  expedition  had  occupied  in 
crossing  Siberia;  no  wonder  subordinates  swore  and 
the  imperial  treasurer  groaned.  But  now  the  de- 
voutly wished  for  hour  had  come,  the  happy  consum- 
mation was  at  hand.  New  islands  and  new  seas  should 
pay  the  reckoning,  while  the  natives  of  a  new  conti- 
nent should  be  made  to  bleed  for  all  this  toil  and 

The  15th  of  August  1740  had  been  fixed  as  the  day 
of  departure,  but  just  as  they  were  about  to  embark 
Captain  Spanberg  arrived  from  Yakutsk  with  the  in- 
telligence that  an  imperial  courier  was  at  hand  with 
despatches  requiring  answers.  This  delayed  the  ex- 
pedition till  the  1st  of  September,  when  the  double 
sloop  with  stores  was  despatched  in  advance.  At  the 
mouth  of  the  river  she  ran  aground,  and  the  transfer 



of  cargo  became  necessary,  after  which  she  was  again 
made  ready.  On  the  8th  of  September  the  expedition 
finally  embarked.  Bering  commanded  the  Sv  Petr, 
and  Chirikof  the  Sv  Pavel,  the  two  companion  vessels 
having  been  named  the  St  Peter  and  the  St  Paul. 
Bering's  second  was  Lieutenant  Waxel,  while  with 
Chirikof  were  lieutenants  Chikhachef  and  Plunting.^ 
The  double  sloop  was  commanded  by  Master  Khitrof 
and  the  galiot  by  second  mate  Btishchef.  Passengers 
on  the  double  sloop  were  Cro^^ere,  Steller,  the  sur- 
veyor Krassilnikof,  and  the  student  Gorlanof.  The 
vessels  were  all  fitted  out  with  jDrovisions  for  a  year 
and  eight  months,  but  the  grounding  of  the  double 
sloop  caused  considerable  loss  in  both  provisions  and 
spare  rigging. 

In  crossing  the  Okhotsk  Sea  the  vessels  parted  com- 
pany, but  they  all  reached  the  harbor  of  Bolsheretsk 
in  safety  about  the  middle  of  September.  Here  they 
landed  the  two  members  of  the  academy  for  the  pur- 
pose of  exploring  the  Kamchatka  peninsula,  and  took 
on  board  the  mate  Yelagin.  The  little  fleet  then 
passed  round  the  southern  end  of  the  peninsula  to  the 
gulf  of  Avatcha,  where  the  Sv  Pavel  arrived  the  27th 
of  September,  and  the  Sv  Petr  the  6th  of  October. 
The  sloop  met  with  a  series  of  disasters  and  was  com- 
pelled to  return  to  Bolsheretsk  on  the  8th  of  October, 
and  to  remain  there  for  the  winter.  The  galiot  also 
returned  for  the  winter,  unable  to  weather  Cape  Lo- 
patka  so  late  in  the  season,  and  this  rendered  it  neces- 
sary to  transport  supplies  overland  from  Bolsheretsk 

*  With  Waxel  was  a  young  son.  The  other  officers  of  the  Sv  Petr  were 
Eselberg,  mate;  Yushin,  second  mate;  Lagunof,  commissary;  Khotiaintzof, 
master;  Jansen,  boatswain;  Ivanof,  boatswain's  mate;  Rossiliiis,  ship's  con- 
stable; Feich,  surgeon;  Betge,  assistant  surgeon;  Plenisner,  artist  and  corporal 
of  Cossacks;  and  among  the  sailors  the  former  Lieut.  Ovtzin,  who  had  been 
reduced  to  the  ranks.  In  Kamchatka  the  force  was  increased  by  Khitrof,  the 
marine,  and  Johann  Synd,  a  son  of  Feich,  the  father  returning  to  St  Peters- 
burg on  account  of  ill-health.  On  the  Sv  Pavel  were :  Dementief ,  master; 
Shiganof  and  Yurlof,  second  mates;  Chaglokof,  commissary;  Korostlef,. 
master;  Savelief,  boatswain;  Kachikof,  ship's  constable;  the  monk  Lau,  who 
also  served  as  assistant  surgeon ;  the  force  being  further  increased  in  Kam- 
chatka by  Yelagin,  mate,  and  the  marine  Yurlof.  The  second  mate  Shigaaiof, 
and  Yurlof,  were  subsequently  promoted  in  Kamchatka. 


to  Avatcha  during  the  winter,  an  operation  attended 
with  great  difficulties  and  loss.^  Bering  approved  of 
the  selection  of  Avatcha  Bay  as  a  harbor,  by  Yelagin, 
it  being  the  best  on  the  coast.  A  few  buildings  had 
been  erected,  and  to  these  the  commander  proceeded 
at  once  to  add  a  church.  The  place  was  named  Pe- 

Beaching^  his  vessels  for  the  winter,  Bering^  secured 
the  services  of  the  natives  for  the  transportation  of 
supplies  from  Bolsheretsk,  and  then  distributed  his 
command  in  small  detachments,  requiring  them  to 
live  for  the  most  part  on  such  game  and  fish  as  they 
could  catch.  Removed  from  the  interference  of  local 
authorities,  which  had  been  troublesome  at  Okhotsk, 
Bering  passed  a  quiet  winter  and  concluded  the  final 
preparations  for  sea  in  accordance  with  his  plans. 
Croyere  and  Steller  joined  him  in  the  spring;  and 
with  the  opening  of  navigation,  in  accordance  with 
instructions,  on  the  4th  of  May  1741  the  commander 
assembled  his  officers,  including  the  astronomer,  for 
general  consultation.  Each  present  was  to  give  his 
views,  and  a  majority  was  to  decide.  All  were  of 
opinion  that  the  unknown  shore  lay  either  due  east 
or  north-east;  but  this  sensible  decision,  the  adoption 
of  which  would  have  saved  them  much  suffering  and 
disaster,  was  not  permitted  to  prevail.  Science  in 
Bussia  was  as  despotic  as  government.  The  renowned 
astronomer  De  L'Isle  de  la  Croyere  had  made  a  map 
presented   by  the  imperial  academy  to  the   senate. 

2  The  sloop  finally  reached  Avatcha  the  following  summer  but  only  after 
two  exploring  vessels  had  gone  to  sea.  According  to  Steller  a  supply-ship 
met  the  vessels  of  the  expedition  in  the  outer  harbor,  and  the  greater  portion 
of  the  cargo  was  transferred  to  the  Sv  Petr.  Steller,  Beschreibung  von  Kam- 
tschatka,i.  112.  The  galiot  returned  to  Okhotsk  during  the  summer  in  charge 
of  second  mate  Shigonof ,  and  carrying  as  passengers  Krashennikof ,  with  a  valu- 
able collection  of  notes  as  the  result  of  his  investigations.  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  371 . 

^  According  to  Miiller  the  church  was  dedicated  to  the  apostles  Peter  and 
Paul,  and  the  harbor  derived  its  name  therefrom;  but  subsequent  investiga- 
tions of  the  local  archives  by  Sokolof  and  Polonski  seemed  to  indicate  that 
the  church,  a  small  wooden  structure,  was  erected  in  memory  of  the  bu'th  of 
the  virgin,  and  that  the  harbor  was  named  after  the  two  ships.  Its  name 
occui's  on  the  earliest  pages  of  the  journals  of  the  expedition.  Miiller,  Samm- 
liinfj  russischer  geschichten,  i.  22;  Sokolof,  in  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  372. 
Hist.  Alaska.    5 


That  august  body  had  forwarded  it  to  Bering,  and 
the  author's  brother,  present  at  the  council,  also  had 
with  him  a  copy.  No  land  was  set  down  upon  this 
chart  toward  the  east,  but  some  distance  south-east 
of  Avatcha  Bay,  between  latitudes  46°  and  47°,  there 
was  a  coast  extending  about  15°  of  longitude  from  west 
to  cast.  The  land  was  drawn  in  such  a  manner  as  to 
indicate  that  it  had  been  sighted  on  the  south  side, 
and  the  words  Terres  vues  ]}aT  dom  Jean  de  Gama 
were  inscribed  upon  it.  The  absurdity  of  sending  out 
an  expedition  for  discovery,  requiring  it  to  follow 
mapped  imagination,  seems  never  to  have  occurred  to 
the  Solons  of  St  Petersburg,  and  this  when  they 
knew  well  enough  that  the  continents  were  not  far 
asunder  toward  the  north. 

The  mariners  thought  it  safer  to  go  by  the  chart, 
which  after  all  must  have  some  influence  on  the  land, 
the  drawing  having  passed  through  such  imperial 
processes,  and  hence  arrived  at  the  fatal  determination 
to  steer  first  south-east  by  east  in  search  of  the  Land 
of  Gama,  and  after  discovering  it  to  take  its  northern 
coast  as  a  guide  to  the  north-east  or  east;  but  if  no 
land  was  found  in  latitude  46°,  then  the  course  should 
be  altered  to  north-east  by  east  till  land  was  made. 
The  coast  once  found,  it  was  to  be  followed  to  latitude 
65°.  The  action  of  the  several  officers  under  every 
conceivable  emergency  was  determined  by  the  council. 
All  were  to  return  to  Avatcha  Bay  by  the  end  of 
September.^  Yet  with  all  the  care,  when  put  into 
practice,  their  plans  were  found  to  be  exceedingly  de- 
fective. Steller  went  on  the  Sv  Petr,  while  Croyere 
was  attached  to  Chirikof's  vessel.     The  crew  of  the 

*It  is  not  known  who  Juan  de  Gama  was,  nor  when  the  pretended  discov- 
ery was  made  by  him.  In  1G49  Texeira,  cosmographer  to  the  king  of  Portu- 
gal, published  a  map  on  which  10  or  12  degrees  north-east  from  Jaj)an,  in 
latitude  44°  and  45°,  were  represented  a  multitude  of  islands  and  a  coast  ex- 
tending toward  the  east,  labelled:  'Terre  vue  par  Jean  de  Gama,  Indien,  en 
allant  de  la  Chine  a  la  Nouvelle  Espagne.'  The  situation  of  the  'Land  of 
Gama,'  on  Texeira 's  maps,  seems  to  be  the  same  as  the  'Company's  Land' 
discovered  by  the  Kastrilom  under  Martin  Geritzin  de  Vries,  in  1643,  or 
perhaps  earlier.  Mullers  Voy.,  i.  37-S;  Buniey'n  Chronol.  Hist.,  162-3. 


Sv  Petr  numbered  seventy-seven,  and  that  of  the  Sv 
Pavel  seventy-five.  Both  ships  had  still  provisions 
]eft  for  five  and  a  half  months,  with  one  hundred 
barrels  of  water,  sixteen  cords  of  wood,  and  two  boats 

On  the  morning  of  the  4th  of  June  1741,  after 
solemn  prayer,  the  two  ships  sailed  from  Avatcha  Bay 
with  a  light  southerly  wind.^  .  Noon  of  the  second 
day  saw  them  thirty  miles  from  Light  House  Point. 
Chirikof,  who  was  about  five  miles  to  windward  of 
Bering,  noticed  that  the  latter  steered  southward 
of  the  course  proposed.  Signalling  Bering  that  he 
would  speak  with  him,  Chirikof  proposed  that  they 
should  keep  as  near  together  as  possible  to  avoid  final 
separation  in  a  fog.  He  also  spoke  of  the  manifest 
change  from  the  agreed  course,  whereat  Bering  ap- 
peared annoyed,  and  when  later  Chirikof  signalled  to 
speak  with  him  a  second  time  the  commander  paid  no 
attention  to  it.  As  we  proceed  we  shall  find  serious 
defects  in  the  character  of  both  of  these  men.  For  a 
commander-in-chief,  Berino^  was  becomino-  timid,  and 
perhaps  too  much  bound  to  instructions;  for  a  sub- 
ordinate, Chirikof  was  dogmatic  and  obstinate.  About 
noon  of  the  6th  of  June  Bering  ordered  Chirikof 
to  proceed  in  advance,  trusting  apparently  more  to 
his  skill  and  judgment  than  to  his  own.  On  the  7th 
of  June  the  wind  changed  to  the  north  and  increased. 
In  the  course  of  the  next  few  days  the  two  ships 
approached  each  other  occasionally  and  exchanged 
signals,  but  Chirikof  remained  in  the  lead.  In  the 
afternoon  of  the  12th  they  found  themselves  in  lati- 
tude 46,°  and  came  to  the  conclusion  that  there  was 
no  Gama  Land  such  as  given  in  the  chart,  and  at  3 
o'clock  they  changed  their  course  to  east  by  north. 
On  the  14th  the  wind  drew  ahead,  blowing  strong 

°  Details  of  Bering's  voyage  in  the  archives  of  St  Petersburg  consist  of 
reports  and  journals  by  Waxel,  Yuskin,  and  Khitrof,  the  first  two  in  copies, 
the  latter  in  the  original.  Of  Chirikof 's  voyage  there  are  copies  of  journals 
by  himself  and  by  Yelagin  his  mate.  A  few  other  details  have  been  obtained 
from  Steller  and  Muller.  Zap.  Hydr.,  passmi. 


from  the  eastward,  and  compelling  to  a  more  north- 
erly course  for  nearly  two  days,  till  they  found  them- 
selves in  latitude  48°,  Bering  keeping  to  the  windward 
of  Chirikof  on  account  of  the  better  sailing  qualities 
of  his  vessel.  Chirikof  finally  signalled  for  instruc- 
tions, and  asked  how  long  the  northerly  course  was 
to  be  pursued.  Bering's  answer  was  to  follow  him 
and  he  would  see. 

A  few  hours  later  the  course  was  changed  to  the 
southward.  On  the  15th  the  wind  was  a  little  more 
to  the  south  and  the  northerly  course  was  resumed. 
On  the  18th,  in  the  morning,  Bering  informed  Chiri- 
kof that  as  they  were  in  latitude  49°  they  must  turn 
south,  but  Chirikof  said  that  with  the  prevailing  wind  a 
change  was  impracticable,  and  it  would  be  best  to  con- 
tinue the  course  east  by  north.  The  following  day  in 
latitude  49°  30'  the  wind  increased,  blowing  violently 
from  the  east,  and  sails  were  shortened  during  the  night. 
Next  morning  Chirikof  sighted  the  Sv  Petr  about 
three  leagues  to  the  north,  but  Bering  did  not  see 
him,  and  thinking  himself  to  the  windward  shaped  his 
course  to  the  north-west.  This  manoeuvre  completed 
the  separation  of  the  vessels  forever.  Bering  made 
every  effort  to  find  the  consort;  he  spent  three  days 
between  latitudes  50°  and  51°,  and  finally  sailed  south- 
east as  far  as  45°,  but  all  in  vain.  Chirikof  had  taken 
an  easterly  course  and  his  subsequent  movements  were 
entirely  distinct  from  those  of  his  commander. 

First  let  us  follow  the  fortunes  of  Chirikof,  who 
must  ever  be  regarded  as  the  hero  of  this  expedition. 

After  losing  sight  of  the  Su  Petr,  which  he  thought 
was  to  the  northward,  Chirikof  allowed  the  Sv  Pavel 
to  drift  a  while,  so  that  his  commander  might  find 
him.  Then  he  steered  south-east  in  search  of  him, 
and  after  making  two  degrees  of  longitude  to  the 
eastward,  on  the  morning  of  the  23d  of  June  he  found 
himself  in  latitude  48°.  A  council  of  ofiScers  decided 
that  it  was  folly  to  waste  time  in  search  of  Bering, 


and  that  they  would  prosecute  the  object  of  the  voy- 
age, which  was  to  find  land  toward  the  east.  Hence 
with  light,  favorable  winds,  the  Sv  Pavel  went  for- 
ward, occasionally  shaping  her  course  a  little  more  to 
the  north,  until  on  the  11th  of  July  signs  of  land 
were  seen  in  drift-wood,  seals,  and  gulls.  Without 
slacking  his  speed,  but  casting  the  lead  constantly, 
Chirikof  proceeded,  and  during  the  night  of  the  15th 
he  sighted  land  in  latitude  55°  21.'  Thus  was  the 
great  discovery  achieved.  The  high  wooded  moun- 
tains looming  before  the  enraptured  gaze  of  eyes  long 
accustomed  to  the  tamer  glories  of  Siberia,  were  at 
once  pronounced  to  belong  to  the  continent  of  Amer- 

Day  broke  calm  and  clear;  the  coast  was  visible  in 
distinct  outUnes  at  a  distance  of  three  or  four  miles; 
the  lead  indicated  sixty  fathoms,  and  the  ship  was 
surrounded  by  myriads  of  ducks  and  gulls.  At  noon 
it  was  still  calm,  and  an  observation  gave  the  latitude 
as  55°  41'.  A  boat  was  lowered  but  failed  to  find  a 
landing-place.  In  the  evening  a  light  wind  arose, 
and  the  vessel  stood  north-westward  along  the  shore 
under  short  sails.  Toward  morning  the  wind  increased 
from  the  eastward  with  rain  and  fog,  and  the  bright 
green  land  which  they  had  found  was  lost  to  them 
again.  At  last,  some  time  after  daylight,  high  moun- 
tains once  more  appeared  above  the  clouds,  and  at 
noon  of  the  l7th  the  entrance  to  a  great  bay  was 
observed  in  latitude  57°  15'.  The  mate,  Dementief, 
was  ordered  to  explore  the  entrance  in  the  long-boat 
manned  with  ten  armed  sailors.'' 

The  party  was  furnished  with  provisions  for  several 
days,  with  muskets,  and  other  arms,  including  a  small 

®  Sokolof  declares  emphatically  that  the  poiut  of  land  made  was  a  slight 
projection  of  the  coast  between  capes  Addington  and  Bartholomew  of  Van- 
couver's map.  Zaj:).  Hydr.,  ix.  399. 

'  The  mate,  Abram  Mikhailovich  Dementief,  is  spoken  of  by  Miiller  in  his 
Letter  of  a  Russian  Naval,  Officer,  as  a  man  of  good  family,  young,  good-look- 
ing, kind-hearted,  skilled  in  his  profession,  and  anxious  to  serve  his  country. 
Sokolof  in  his  history  of  the  expedition  hints  at  a  love  affair  at  Okhotsk, 
which  had  ended  unhappily.  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cv.  113;  Zap.  Hydr.,  iv.  400-1. 


brass  cannon.  Chirikof  issued  instructions  to  meet 
probable  emergencies,  and  explained  how  they  were  to 
communicate  with  the  ship  by  signals.  The  boat  was 
seen  to  reach  the  shore  and  disappear  behind  a  small 
projection  of  land;  a  few  minutes  later  the  precon- 
certed signals  were  observed,  and  it  was  concluded 
that  the  boat  had  landed  in  safety.^  The  day  passed 
without  further  information  from  the  shore.  During 
the  next  and  for  several  successive  days,  signals  were 
observed  from  time  to  time,  which  were  interpreted 
to  mean  that  all  was  well  with  Dementief  At  last, 
as  the  party  did  not  return,  Chirikof  began  to  fear 
that  the  boat  had  suffered  damage  in  landing,  and  on 
the  23d  Sidor  Savelief,  with  some  sailors,  a  carpenter 
and  a  calker,  was  sent  ashore  to  assist  Dementief,  and 
repair  his  boat  if  necessary,^  The  strictest  injunctions 
were  issued  that  either  one  or  both  of  the  boats  should 
return  immediately.  Their  movements  were  anxiously 
watched  from  the  ship.  The  small  boat  was  seen  to 
land,  but  no  preparation  for  a  return  could  be  observed. 
A  great  smoke  was  seen  rising  from  the  point  round 
which  the  first  crew  had  disappeared. 

The  night  was  passed  in  great  anxiety;  but  every 
heart  was  gladdened  when  next  morning  two  boats 
were  seen  to  leave  the  coast.  One  was  larger  than 
the  other,  and  no  one  doubted  that  Dementief  and 
Savelief  were  at  last  returning.  The  captain  ordered 
all  made  ready  for  instant  departure.  During  the 
bustle  which  followed  little  attention  was  paid  to  the 
approaching  boats,  but  presentl}^  they  were  discovered 
to  be  canoes  filled  with  savages,  who  seemed  to  be  as 
much  astonished  as  the  Russians,  and  after  a  rapid 
survey  of  the  apparition  they  turned  shoreward, 
shouting  Agail  Agail     Then  dread  fell  on  all,  and 

^  Sokolof  omits  in  his  account  the  mention  of  Dementief 's  signal  after  reach- 
ing the  land,  but  the  fact  is  confirmed  by  Chirikof's  own  journal  in  both  the 
original,  and  the  translation  in  Sammhiiif/  al.ler  Reisheachr.,  xx.  37"2. 

^This  date  is  differently  given  by  different  authors;  in  the  Sammlung^ 
the  date  is  the  '2Ist;  the  number  of  Savelief's  companions  is  also  variously 
placed  at  fi-om  three  to  six.  Midler's  Voyaije,  41;  Zap.  Ilydr.,  ix.  401. 


Chirikof  cursed  himself  for  permitting  the  sailors  to 
appear  on  deck  in  such  numbers  as  to  frighten  away 
the  savages,  and  thus  prevent  their  seizure  and  an 
exchange  of  prisoners.  Gradually  the  full  force  of 
the  calamity  fell  upon  him.  His  men  had  all  been 
seized  and  murdered  on  the  spot,  or  were  still  held 
for  a  worse  fate. 

He  was  on  an  unknown  and  dangerous  coast,  with- 
out boats,  and  his  numbers  greatly  reduced.  A 
strong  west  wind  just  then  sprang  up  and  compelled 
him  to  weigh  anchor  and  run  for  the  open  sea.  His 
heart  was  very  sore,  for  he  was  a  humane  man  and 
warmly  attached  to  his  comrades.  He  cruised  about 
the  neighborhood  for  several  days,  loath  to  leave  it, 
though  he  had  given  up  the  shore  parties  all  as  lost, 
and  as  soon  as  the  wind  permitted  he  again  approached 
the  point  which  had  proved  so  fatal  to  his  undertak- 
ing. But  no  trace  of  the  lost  sailors  could  be  discov- 
ered. A  council  of  officers  was  then  called  to  deter- 
mine what  next  to  do.^° 

All  agreed  that  further  attempts  at  discovery 
were  out  of  the  question,  and  that  the}^  should  at 
once  make  for  Kamchatka.  With  his  own  hand 
Chirikof  added  to  the  minutes  of  the  council,  "Were 
it  not  for  our  extraordinary  misfortunes  there  would 
be  ample  time  to  prosecute  the  work."  The  Sv  Pavel 
was  then  headed  for  the  north-west,  keeping  the  coast 
in  sight.  The  want  of  boats  prevented  a  landing  for 
water,  which  was  now  dealt  out  Jti  rations ;  they  tried 
to  catch  rain  and  also  to  distil  sea-water,  in  both  of 
which  efforts,  to  a  certain  extent,  they  were  success- 

On  the  31st  of  July,  at  a  distance  of  about  eighteen 
miles  to  the  north,  huge  mountains  covered  with  snow 
were  seen  extending  apparently  to  the  westward.    The 

^"  Sokolof  gives  the  date  of  this  council  as  the  26th,  11  days  after  the  dis- 
covery of  land.  Chirikof  and  Miiller,  as  well  as  the  Sammlung,  make  it 
the  27th.  All  accounts  agree  that  the  latitude  obsei'ved  on  the  day  of  the 
council  was  58°  21'.  The  quantity  of  water  on  hand  was  then  45  casks. 
Mv>ller's  Voyage,  42;  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  402. 


wind  increased  and  veered  to  the  westward,  with  rain 
and  fog.  The  course  was  changed  more  to  the  south- 
ward, and  on  the  2d  of  August  they  again  sighted 
land  to  the  westward, ^^  but  it  soon  disappeared  in 
the  fog. 

On  the  4th  of  September  in  latitude  52°  30^  they 
discovered  high  land  in  a  northerly  direction,  proba- 
bly the  island  of  Unalaska.  Two  days  later,  after 
considerable  westing  with  a  favorable  wind,  land  was 
again  sighted  in  latitude  51°  30';  and  on  the  evening 
of  the  8th,  while  becalmed  in  a  fog,  they  were  alarmed 
by  the  roar  of  breakers,  while  soundings  showed 
twenty-eight  fathoms.  Chirikof  anchored  with  diffi- 
culty owing  to  the  hard  rocky  bottom,  and  the  follow- 
ing morning  when  the  fog  lifted  he  found  himself  in 
a  small  shallow  bay  less  than  a  mile  in  width  and 
surrounded  by  tremendous  cliffs,  probabl}^  Adakh 
Island.  The  mountains  were  barren,  with  here  and 
there  small  patches  of  grass  or  moss.  While  await- 
ing a  favorable  wind,  they  saw  seven  savages  come 
out  in  seven  canoes,  chanting  invocations,  and  taking 
no  notice  of  the  presents  flung  to  them  by  the  Rus- 
sians.^^  A  few  canoes  linally  approached  the  ship, 
bringing  fresh  water  in  bladders,  but  the  bearers  re- 
fused to  mount  to  the  deck.  Chirikof  in  his  journal 
describes  them  as  well  built  men  resembling  the  Tar- 
tars in  features;  not  corpulent  but  healthy,  with 
scarcely  any  beard.  On  their  heads  they  wore  shades 
made  of  thin  boards  ornamented  with  colors,  and 
feathers  of  aquatic  birds.  A  few  also  had  bone  carv- 
ings attached  to  their  head-dress.'^^  Later  in  the  day 
the  natives  came  in  greater  numbers,  fourteen  h/aks, 
or  small  closed  skin  boats,  surrounding  the  vessel, 

11  Sokolof  in  Zap.  Hydr. ,  ix.  403,  insists  that  this  land  was  the  point  dis- 
covered by  Bering  10  days  before;  but  there  can  be  but  little  doubt  that  it 
was  the  island  of  Kadiak. 

^^  Sokolof  on  the  authoi'ity  of  Chikhachef  asserts  that  these  natives  refused 
beads,  tobacco,  pijies,  and  other  trifles,  asking  only  for  knives,  but  how  the 
savages  expressed  this  desire  he  does  not  explain,  nor  does  he  show  how  they 
knew  anything  about  iron  implements.  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  404. 

'^  Chiriko/^s  Journ(d,  in  Imperial  Naval  Archives,  xvi. 


which  they  examined  with  great  curiosity,  but  they 
refused  to  go  on  board.  Toward  evening  by  shp- 
ping  an  anchor  they  got  to  sea,  and  on  the  21st  high 
land  was  siglited  again  in  latitude  52°  36V*  probably 
the  island  of  Attoo,  the  westernmost  of  all  the  Aleu- 
tian chain.  Chirikof  supposed  that  all  the  land  he 
saw  hereabout  was  part  of  the  American  continent; 
for  when  he  pressed  northward,  indications  of  land 
were  everywhere  present,  but  when  he  turned  south- 
ward, such  indications  ceased.  The  presence  of  sea- 
otters  was  frequently  remarked,  though  they  could  not 
realize  the  important  part  this  animal  was  to  play  in 
shaping  the  destinies  of  man  in  this  region.  The  21st 
of  August  orders  were  issued  to  cook  the  usual  quan- 
tity of  rye  meal  once  a  day  instead  of  twice,  and  to 
decrease  the  allowance  of  water.  As  an  offset  an 
extra  drink  of  rum  was  allowed. ^^ 

Despite  the  scurvy  and  general  despondency  disci- 
pline was  rigidly  enforced,  and  finally,  when  the  water 
for  cooking  the  rye  meal  could  be  spared  but  once  a 
week,  no  complaints  were  heard.  Yet  cold,  excessive 
moisture  and  hunger  and  thirst  were  making  con- 
stant and  sure  inroads.  By  the  16th  Chirikof  and 
Chikhachef  were  both  down  with  the  scurvy,  and  one 
man  died  the  same  day.  Five  days  later  the  captain 
was  unable  to  leave  his  berth,  but  his  mind  remained 
clear  and  he  issued  his  orders  with  regularity  and 
precision.  Midshipman  Pluntirig  was  also  unable  to 
appear  on  deck.  The  ship's  constable,  Kachikof,  died 
the  26th,  and  from  that  time  one  death  followed 
another  in  quick  succession.  On  the  6th  of  October 
Lieutenant  Chikhachef  and  one  sailor  died,  and  on  the 
8th  Plunting's  sufferings  were  ended.     The  sails  were 

'*In  his  description  of  the  expedition  the  astronomer,  Croy^re,  becomes 
confused,  saying  that  after  losing  sight  of  land  on  the  4th,  no  more  was  seen 
till  the  20th,  wlaen  the  ship  came  to  anchor  200  fathoms  from  a  mountainous 
coast  in  latitude  51°  12',  where  21  canoes  appeared.  Sammlung,  xx.  395. 

'^  From  the  journal  of  the  mate  Yelagin  we  learn  that  on  the  14th  there 
remained  only  12  casks  of  water,  and  that  the  rye  mush  was  furnished  once 
a  day,  the  other  meals  consisting  of  liard  bread  and  butter.  Salt  beef  was 
boiled  in  sea- water.  Naval  Archives,  xvi. 


falling  ill  pieces  owing  to  constant  exposure  to  rain 
and  snow,  and  the  enfeebled  crew  was  unable  to  re- 
pair them.  Slowly  the  ship  moved  westward  with 
little  attempt  at  navigation.  The  last  observation  had 
been  made  the  2d  of  October,  but  only  the  longitude 
was  found,  indicatino^  a  distance  of  eleven  decrees  from 
the  Kamchatka  shore.  Fortune  helping  them,  on  the 
morning  of  the  8th  land  appeared  in  the  west,  which 
proved  to  be  the  coast  of  Kamchatka  in  the  vicinity 
of  Avatcha  Ba}^  A  light  contrary  wind  detained 
them  for  two  days,  and  having  no  boats  they  dis- 
charged a  cannon  to  bring  help  from  the  shore. 

Of  those  who  had  left  this  harbor  in  the  Sv  Pavel 
less  than  five  months  before,  twenty-one  were  lost. 
The  pilot,  Yelagin,  alone  of  all  the  officers  could  appear 
on  deck,  and  he  finally  brought  the  ship  into  the  har- 
bor of  Petropavlovsk,  established  by  him  the  preced- 
ing winter.  The  astronomer,  Croj^ere,  who  had  for 
weeks  been  confined  to  his  berth,  apparently  keeping 
alive  by  the  constant  use  of  strong  liquor,  asked  to  be 
taken  ashore  at  once,  but  as  soon  as  he  was  exposed  to 
the  air  on  deck  he  fell  and  presently  expired.  Chiri- 
kof,  very  ill,  was  landed  at  noon  the  same  day.^^ 

1^  Sokolof  with  much  national  pride  exults  in  the  achievements  of  Chirikof, 
a  true  Russian,  as  agamst  Bering  the  Dane.  '  And  thus  having  discovered 
the  American  coast  36  hours  earlier  than  Bering, '  he  writes,  '  eleven  degrees 
of  longitude  farther  to  the  east;  having  followed  this  coast  three  degrees 
farther  to  the  north;  and  after  having  left  the  coast  five  days  later  than 
Bering,  Chirikof  returned  to  Kamchatka,  eight  degrees  farther  west  than 
Bei-ing's  landing-place,  a  whole  month  earlier;  having  made  on  his  route  the 
same  discoveries  of  the  Aleutian  Islands.  During  this  whole  time  the  sails 
were  never  taken  in,  and  no  supply  of  fresh  water  was  obtained;  they  suffered 
equally  from  storms,  privations,  disease,  and  mortality — the  officei-s  as  well 
as  the  men.  How  different  were  the  results,  and  what  proof  do  they  not 
furnislA  of  the  superiority  of  the  Russians  in  scientific  navigation ! '  So  the 
learner  is  often  apt  to  grow  bold  and  impudent  and  despise  the  teacher.  The 
great  Peter  was  not  above  learning  navigation  from  Bering  the  Dane.  Zap. 
Hydr.,  ix.  407-8. 




Discovert  by  Rule — The  Land  not  where  It  ought  to  be — The 
AvATCHA  Council  should  Know — Bering  Encounters  the  Main- 
land AT  Mount  St  Elias — Claims  for  the  PpaoRiTY  of  Discovery  op 
North-westernmost  America — Kyak  Island — Scarcity  of  Water — 
The  Return  Voyage — Illness  of  Bering — Longings  for  Home— 
Kadiak — Ukamok — Sickness  and  Death — Intercourse  with  the 
Natives — Waxel's   Adventure — Vows    of    the    Dane — Amchitka, 

KiSHKA,    SeMICHE,    and    OTHER    ISLANDS    SeEN — At    BeRING    IsLAND — 

Wreck  of  the  '  Sv  Petr' — Death  of  Bering — Gathering  Sea-otter 
Skins— The  Survivors  Build  a  Small  *Sv  Petr'  from  the  Wreck — 
Return  to  Kamchatka — Second  Voyage  of  Chirikof. 

We  will  now  return  to  the  commander.  Possibly 
we  might  imagine  Chirikof  easily  reconciled  to  a 
separation  from  his  superior,  who,  instead  of  striking 
out  intelligently  for  the  achievement  of  a  purpose, 
allowed  himself  to  be  carried  hither  and  thither  by 
omnipotent  winds  and  imperial  instructions.  But  not 
so  Bering.  With  the  loss  of  Chirikof  and  the  Sv 
Pavel  his  right  arm  was  gone.  For  a  whole  day  he 
drifted  in  a  strong  gale  under  reefed  sails  before  he 
would  leave  the  spot  to  take  the  direction  in  which 
he  supposed  Chirikof  to  be.  Then  he  was  obliged  to 
lie  to  again,  and  on  the  morning  of  the  22d,  finding 
himself  twelve  leagues  south  of  the  point  of  separa- 
tion, it  was  concluded  in  a  council  of  officers  to  aban- 
don further  search  and  resume  their  course,  not  the 
last  course  of  east  by  north  as  it  should  have  been, 
but  to  the  southward  till  latitude  46°  was  reached, 
where  they  had  already  been  and  seen  nothing.     It 


was  now  evident  that  Bering  was  becoming  incompe- 
tent; that,  deprived  of  the  assistance  of  Chirikof's 
stronger  mind  and  sounder  judgment,  he  intended  to 
follow  strictly  the  resolutions  of  the  Avatcha  council. 
He  would  steer  south-east  by  east  to  latitude  46°, 
then  change  the  course  to  east  by  north,  and  thus 
waste  in  mid-ocean  the  brief  days  of  the  short 
northern  summer.  The  24th  saw  Bering  at  the 
southernmost  point  named,  where  numbers  of  birds 
seemed  to  indicate  land  ahead,  and  tempted  him  to 
continue  to  latitude  45°  16',  when  finding  nothing, 
and  convinced  for  a  second  time  of  the  inaccuracy  of 
Croyere's  chart,  he  again  bent  his  course  east  by 
north,  which  was  changed  the  third  day  to  north- 
north-east  to  compensate  for  having  gone  below 
latitude  46°.  The  wind  changed  repeatedly  from 
south-west  to  south-east,  being  always  light  and  ac- 
companied with  clouds  and  fogs;  but  nothing  special 
occurred  until  the  9th  of  July,  when  a  strong  east- 
erly wind  compelled  them  to  head  more  to  the  north 
until  they  reached  latitude  51°  30^  The  wind  then 
changed,  allowing  them  to  steer  north-east  by  east. 
From  time  to  time  they  were  misled  by  land-floating 
drift,  and  weeds,  and  marine  mammals,  but  the  lead 
indicated  a  depth  of  between  one  hundred  and  ninety 
and  two  hundred  fathoms. 

The  second  month  was  now  at  hand,  and  Bering 
ordered  a  reduced  allowance  of  water.  From  the  12tli 
of  July  he  was  so  firmly  convinced  of  the  close  prox- 
imity of  land  that  he  hove  to  at  night  lest  he  should  run 
aground.  Five  weeks  had  elapsed  since  the  Sv  Petr 
had  left  Avatcha  Bay  and  the  ship's  log  showed  that 
forty-six  degrees  of  longitude  separated  them  from 
their  point  of  departure,  and  still  the  land  remained 
invisible.  The  wind  became  more  favorable,  blowing 
from  the  west,  and  Bering  concluded  to  change  his 
course  to  the  northward  in  order  to  fall  in  the  sooner 
with  the  land. 

•On  the   13th,  in  latitude  54°  30',  in  a  council  of 





officers,  another  change  to  north-north-east  was  deter- 
mined on.  These  frequent  changes  and  the  general 
indecision  in  the  management  of  the  expedition  proved 
almost  fatal;  but  about  noon  of  the  IGth,  in  latitude 
58°  14',  the  lookout  reported  a  towering  peak  and  a 
high  chain  of  snow-covered  mountains,  without  doubt 
Mount  St  Elias,  and  the  extending  range.     A  north 

1    ,    !    ,    !- 

Scale  in  German  Miles 
iS  to  the  deyree 



Kyak  Island. 

wind  held  them  off  from  the  point  first  seen,  but  on  the 
evening  of  the  20th  they  came  upon  an  island  in  59° 
40V  which  was  Kyak,  but  which  they  called  St  Elias 
from  the  da  v. 

^  In  his  calculation  of  latitude  Bering  was  seven  minutes  in  error,  while 
in  longitude  he  was  eight  degrees  out  of  the  way.  Such  a  difference  may  be 
accounted  for  on  the  ground  that  Bering's  observations  were  based  upon  dead 


It  will  be  remembered  that  Chirikof  found  land  on 
the  night  of  the  15th  while  Bering  saw  Mount  St 
Elias  at  noon  of  the  16th,  vrhich  would  give  the  former 
priority  in  the  honor  of  discovery  by  say  thirty-six 
hours.^  But  even  Chirikof,  who  amongst  Russians 
was  the  noblest  and  most  chivalrous  of  them  all,  if 
we  may  believe  the  story  of  Gvozdef,  may  not  justly 
set  up  the  claim  as  first  discoverer  of  north-western- 
most America.  True,  Gvozdef  saw  only  what  any  one 
might  see  in  sailing  through  the  strait  of  Bering — 
he  says  he  saw  or  found  himself  on  the  land  opposite 
to  Asia.  Other  Europeans  had  passed  that  way 
before  Gvozdef,  and  the  savages  had  crossed  and  re- 
crossed  before  ever  Europeans  were  there;  so  we  may 
well  enough  leave  out  these  two  sides  of  the  northern 
strait,  and  call  Chirikof  the  first  discoverer  of  land 
opposite  Kamchatka,  which  it  was  the  object  of  this 
imperial  expedition  to  find,  and  which  he  certainly  was 
the  first  to  achieve. 

After  these  years  of  preparation  and  weeks  of 
tempest-tossing  we  should  expect  to  see  the  Dane  de- 
lighted on  reaching  the  grand  consummation  of  the 
united  ambitions  of  monarchs  and  mariners.     But  if 

reckoning,  without  allowing  for  the  ocean  and  tidal  currents  which  in  those 
waters  often  cause  a  gain  or  loss  of  seven  leagues  a  day.  The  identity  of 
Kyak  is  established  by  comparing  Bering's  with  Cook's  observations  which 
would  be  enough  even  if  the  chart  appended  to  Khitrof's  journal  had  not 
been  preserved.  At  first  both  Cook  and  Vancouver  thought  it  Yakutat  Bay, 
which  they  named  after  Bering,  but  both  changed  their  minds.  As  late  as 
1787  the  Russian  admiralty  college  declared  that  the  island  of  Tzukli  (Mon- 
tague of  Vancouver)  was  the  point  of  Bering's  discovery,  but  Admiral  Sary- 
chef,  who  examined  the  journals  of  the  expedition,  pointed  at  once  to  Kyak 
Island  as  the  oidy  point  to  which  the  description  of  Bering  and  Steller  could 
apply.  Sarychef  made  one  mistake  in  applying  the  name  of  Cape  St  Elias 
to  the  nearest  point  of  the  mainland  called  Cape  Suckling  by  Cook.  Zap. 
Hydr.,  ix.  383-4. 

^  The  date  of  Bering's  discovery,  or  the  day  when  land  was  first  sighted 
by  his  lookout,  has  been  variously  stated.  Muller  makes  it  the  20th  of  July, 
and  Steller  the  ISth;  the  16th  is  in  accordance  with  Bering's  journal,  and 
according  to  Bering's  observation  the  latitude  was  58°  28'.  "This  date  is  con- 
firmed by  a  manuscript  chart  compiled  by  Petrof  and  Waxel  with  the  help 
of  the  original  log-books  of  both  vessels.  'The  claim  set  up  by  certain  Spanish 
writers  in  favor  of  Francisco  Gali  as  first  discoverer  of  this  region  is  based  on 
a  misprint  in  an  early  account  of  his  voyage.  For  particulars  see  Hist.  Cal., 
i.,  tliis  series. 


we  may  believe  Steller,  when  his  officers  gathered 
round  with  their  congratulations  Bering  shrugged  his 
shoulders  as  he  glanced  at  the  rugged  shore  and  said, 
"A  great  discovery  no  doubt,  and  the  accomplishment 
of  all  our  desires ;  but  who  knows  where  we  are,  when 
we  shall  see  Russia,  and  what  we  shall  have  to  eat  in 
the  mean  time?"^ 

Beating  up  with  a  light  wind  Bering  succeeded  in 
gaining  anchorage  on  a  clay  bottom  under  the  lee 
of  the  island  in  twenty-two  fathoms.  Two  boats 
were  sent  ashore,  one  under  Khitrof  to  reconnoitre, 
and  another  in  which  was  Steller  in  search  of  water. 
Khitrof  found  among  the  small  islands  in  the  gulf  a 
good  harbor.  He  saw  some  rude  deserted  huts  whose 
owmers  had  probably  retreated  on  the  approach  of  the 
Russians.  The  habitations  were  constructed  of  logs 
and  rough  planks,  and  were  roofed  with  bark  and  dried 
grass.  A  few  semi-subterranean  structures  of  sods 
evidently  served  as  storehouses.  On  entering,  the 
Russians  picked  up  some  rough  cordage,  a  whetstone 
on  which  copper  implements  had  been  sharpened,  a 
small  box  of  poplar  wood,  a  rattle  made  of  baked  clay, 
several  broken  arrows,  and  articles  of  household  fur- 
niture.^ In  another  place  the  men  came  upon  a  cellar 
in  which  was  a  quantity  of  dried  salmon.  Of  this 
Khitrof  took  two  bundles.  There  were  several  red 
foxes  which  seemed  not  at  all  frightened  at  the  sight 
of  the  Russians.  To  compensate  the  natives  for  the 
fish  taken,  some  trifles  of  Russian  manufacture,  tobacco 
and  clay  pipes,  were  left. 

Steller's  party  landed  on  another  island  and  found 
a  •  cellar  or  subterranean  storehouse  with  some  red 
salmon,  and  herbs  dressed  in  a  manner  customary 
with  the  Kamchatkans.  He  also  found  ropes  made 
of  sea-weed,  and  various  household  utensils.  Going 
inland  he  came  to  a  place  where  some  savages  had 
been  eating,  and  had  left  there  an  arrow  and  an  in- 

3  Steller's  Diary,  190. 

*For  full  description  of  these  people  see  Native  Races,  i.,  this  series. 


strument  for  lighting  fire  by  friction.  Steller  also 
gathered  plants  to  analyze  on  shipboard.  He  regretted 
that  no  more  time  was  granted  him  in  which  to  ex- 
amine the  American  coast,  his  whole  stay  covering 
only  six  hours,  while  the  sailors  were  filling  the  water- 
casks.^  The  latter  reported  having  found  two  fire- 
places lately  in  use.  They  saw  pieces  of  hewn  wood, 
and  the  tracks  of  a  man  in  the  grass;  some  smoked 
fish  was  also  brought  on  board  and  was  found  quite 

Early  next  morning,  the  21st  of  July,  contrary  to> 
his  custom  Bering  came  on  deck  and  ordered  anchor- 
up.  It  was  no  use  for  the  officers  to  call  attention  to 
the  yet  unfilled  water-casks,  or  beg  to  see  something 
of  the  country  they  had  found.  The  Dane  was  deaf 
alike  to  argument  and  entreaty.  For  once  during 
the  voyage  he  was  firm.  He  and  a  hundred  others 
had  been  working  for  the  past  eight  years  to  the  one 
end  of  seeing  that  land;  and  now  having  seen  it,  that 
was  the  end  of  it;  he  desired  to  go  home.  It  would 
have  been  as  well  for  him  had  he  tarried  long  enough 
at  least  to  fill  his  water-casks. 

Dense  clouds  obscured  the  sky  as  Bering  began  his 
return  voyage,  and  rain  fell  incessantly.  Dismal  forces 
were  closing  in  round  the  Dane,  to  whom  Bussia  was 
very  far  away  indeed.  By  soundings  a  westerly  course 
was  shaped  along  a  depth  of  from  forty  to  fifty 
fathoms,  by  which  means  he  was  enabled  to  avoid  the 
coast  he  could  not  see.  On  the  25th  the  general 
opinion  in  council  was  that  by  steering  to  the  south- 

^  Steller  in  vain  begged  the  commander  to  let  him  have  a  small  boat  and  a 
few  men  with  which  to  examine  the  place.  Perched  upon  a  steep  rock  the 
enthusiastic  scientist  was  taking  in  as  much  as  possible  of  America  when  the 
crusty  Dane  ordered  him  aboard  if  he  would  not  be  left.  In  his  journal,  edited 
by  Pallas,  Steller  describes  the  situation  as  follows:  'On  descending  the 
mountain,  covered  with  a  A'ast  forest  without  any  trace  of  road  or  trail,  I 
found  it  impossible  to  make  my  way  through  the  thicket  and  consequently 
reascended;  looking  mournfully  at  the  limits  of  my  observation  I  turned  my 
eyes  toward  the  continent  which  it  was  not  in  my  power  to  explore,  and 
observed  at  the  distance  of  a  few  versts  a  smoke  ascending  from  a  wooded 
eminence.  Again  receiving  a  positive  order  to  join  the  ship  I  returned  mourn- 
fully with  my  collection. '  Pallas,  Steller's  Journal,  passim. 
Hist.  Alaska.    6 


west  the  coast  of  Kamchatka  must  be  finally  reached. 
Easterly  winds  drove  the  vessel  to  within  a  short 
distance  of  some  shore  invisible  through  the  fog,  and 
the  greatest  caution  had  to  be  observed  in  keeping 
away  from  the  banks  and  shoals  indicated  by  the 
soundings.  On  the  26th  land  was  made  once  more, 
probably  the  coast  of  Kadiak,  but  an  easterly  wind 
and  shallow  water  prevented  a  landing.  Too  much 
land  now,  to  avoid  which  a  more  direct  course  south 
was  taken ;  but  progress  was  impeded  by  the  numer- 
ous islands  which  skirted  the  continent,  hidden  in  im- 
penetrable fog. 

On  the  30th  an  island  was  discovered  which  Bering 
named  Tumannoi,  or  Foggy  Island,  but  no  landing 
was  made.^  Little  progress  was  made  among  the 
islands  in  Aug^ust,  owino^  to  the  thick  mist  and  con- 
trary  winds.  As  the  water  gave  out  and  scurvy  came 
the  ship  once  more  found  itself  among  a  labyrinth  of 
islands  with  high  peaks  looming  in  the  distance.  The 
largest  then  in  view  was  named  Eudokia.  A  small 
supply  of  water,  consisting  of  a  few  casks  only,  was 
obtained  there,  the  heavy  surf  making  the  landing 
dangerous.  At  a  new  council  held  the  10th,  in  lati- 
tude 53°,  to  which  petty  officers  were  admitted,  it  was 
determined  that  as  it  had  been  decided  to  return  to 
Kamchatka  at  the  end  of  September,  and  it  was  then 
already  near  the  middle  of  August,  and  the  harbor  of 
Petropavlovsk  was  at  least  1,600  miles  distant,  while 
twenty-six  of  the  company  w^ere  ill,  a  further  explora- 
tion of  the  American  coast  had  become  impracticable, 
and  it  was  necessary  to  proceed  to  the  parallel  of 
Petropavlovsk,  and  then  sail  westward  to  Kamchatka. 

Now,  it  is  very  plain  to  one  having  a  knowledge  of 
the  currents  that  it  was  much  easier  to  make  such  a 
resolution  than  to  carry  it  out.    Further  than  this,  all 

®  The  charts  of  the  imperial  academy  at  St  Petersburg,  in  the  last  quarter 
of  the  eighteenth  century,  located  this  point  variously  as  a  portion  of  Kadiak 
and  as  the  island  of  Trinidad,  of  the  Spanish  discoverers.  It  is  now  kno\^Ti 
that  Foggy  Island  was  Ukamok,  named  Chirikof  Island  by  Vancouver,  in 
latitude  55'  48'. 


attempts  to  proceed  to  the  westward  were  baffled  by 
the  barrier  of  land.  Then  the}^  must  have  water,  and 
so  they  anchored  on  the  30th,  at  a  group  of  islands 
in  latitude  54°  48^  Here  the  first  death  occurred — a 
sailor  named  Shumagin  succumbed  to  scurvy.  His 
name  was  given  to  the  island,  and  a  supply  of  brackish 
water  was  obtained.' 

The  commander  now  fell  ill,  and  was  soon  confined 
to  his  cabin.  The  Sv  Pctr  was  at  this  place  six  days. 
One  night  a  fire  had  been  observed  on  a  small  island 
toward  the  north-east,  and  while  the  larger  boats  were 
engaged  in  watering,  Khitrof  went  there  with  five 
men,  but  only,  after  a  long  pull,  to  find  the  people 
gone.  In  attempting  to  return,  a  strong  head-wind 
threw  them  upon  the  beach  of  another  island,  and 
kept  them  there  till  the  2d  of  September,  when  they 
were  relieved  by  the  larger  boat.  During  the  next 
two  days  several  unsuccessful  attempts  were  made 
to  proceed,  for  the  ship's  position  was  perilous.  After 
a  violent  storm,  which  lasted  all  night,  loud  voices 
were  heard  on  the  nearest  island  on  the  morning  of 
the  5th.  A  fire  was  plainly  visible,  and  to  the  great 
joy  of  the  discoverers  two  canoes,  each  containing  a 
native,  advanced  toward  the  ship.  They  stopped, 
however,  at  a  considerable  distance  displaying  sticks 
adorned  with  eagles'  feathers;  and  with  gestures  in- 
vited the  Russians  to  come  ashore.  The  latter,  on 
the  other  hand,  threw  presents  to  the  savages,  and 
endeavored  to  induce  them  to  approach  the  vessel, 
but  in  vain.  After  gazing  with  mingled  wonder  and 
dread  for  a  time  at  the  strange  craft,  the  natives  pad- 
dled for  the  shore. 

Lieutenant  Waxel,  accompanied  by  nine  men  well 
armed,  went  to  pay  them  a  visit.  They  beckoned 
them  to  come  to  the  boat;  the  savages  in  return  beck- 
oned the   strangers   to  disembark.     At   last  Waxel 

'  Miiller  states  that  the  name  was  applied  to  the  group,  while  an  officer 
of  the  navy,  with  the  expedition,  in  a  letter  published  anonymously,  says  that 
only  the  island  which  furnished  the  water  was  named  after  the  deceased  sailor. 


ordered  three  men  to  land,  among  them  the  inter- 
preter, while  he  moored  the  boat  to  a  rock.^ 

Expressions  of  good-will  were  profuse  on  both 
sides,  the  natives  offering  a  repast  of  whale-meat. 
Their  presence  on  the  island  was  evidently  temporary, 
as  no  women  or  children  or  habitation  could  be  seen, 
and  for  every  man  there  was  just  one  hidarka,  or  skin 
canoe  having  two  or  three  seats — the  Kussian  term 
for  an  improved  kyak.  No  bows,  arrows,  spears,  or 
any  other  weapons  which  might  have  alarmed  the 
strangers,  were  visible,  and  the  Russians  went  about 
freely  among  the  natives,  taking  care,  in  accordance 
with  strict  injunctions  of  Waxel,  not  to  lose  sight  of 
the  boat.  Meanwhile  one  of  the  natives  summoned 
courage  to  visit  Waxel  in  the  boat.  He  seemed  to 
be  an  elder  and  a  chief,  and  the  lieutenant  gave  him 
the  most  precious  thing  he  had — brandy;  the  savage 
began  to  drink,  but  immediately  spat  it  out,  crying  to 
his  people  that  he  was  poisoned.  All  AVaxel's  efforts 
to  quiet  him  were  unavailing;  needles,  glass  beads,  an 
iron  kettle,  tobacco,  and  pipes  were  offered  in  vain. 
He  would  accept  nothing.  He  was  allowed  to  go, 
and  at  the  same  time  Waxel  recalled  his  men.  The 
natives  made  an  attempt  to  detain  them,  but  finally 
allowed  the  two  Russians  to  go,  keeping  hold  of  the 
interpreter.  Others  ran  to  the  rock  to  which  the 
boat  was  moored  and  seized  the  rope,  which  Waxel 
thereupon  ordered  cut.  The  interpreter  in  the  mean 
time  pleaded  with  the  Russians  not  to  abandon  him, 
but  they  could  afford  no  aid.  As  a  final  effort  to  save 
the  interpreter  two  muskets  were  discharged,  and  as 
the  report  echoed  from  the  surrounding  cliffs,  the  sav- 
ages fell  to  the  ground  while  the  interpreter  sprang 
into  the  boat.  As  the  ship  was  making  ready  to  sail 
next  day  seven  of  these  savages  came  and  exchanged 
gifts.     This  was  on  the  6th  of  September.     After  a 

®  The  interpreters  accompanying  the  expedition  belonged  to  the  Koriak 
and  Chukchi  tribes,  and  were  of  no  use  in  conversing  with  the  natives,  but 
they  were  bold  and  inspired  the  islanders  with  confidence,  being  in  outward 
appearance  like  themselves. 


very  stormy  passage  land  was  sighted  again  on  the 
24th,  in  latitude  51°  11'?  There  was  a  coast  with 
islands  and  mountains,  to  the  highest  of  which  Bering 
gave  the  name  of  St  John,  from  the  day. 

The  position  of  the  ship  was  critical.  Finally  they 
escaped  the  dangerous  shore,  only  to  be  driven  by  a 
storm  of  seventeen  days'  duration  down  to  latitude  48°. 
Disease  spread.  Every  day  one  or  more  died,  until 
there  were  scarcely  enough  left  to  manage  the  ship. 
*'  The  most  eloquent  pen,"  said  Steller,  "  would  fail  to 
describe  the  misery  of  our  condition."  Opinion  was 
divided  whether  they  should  seek  a  harbor  on  the 
American  coast  or  sail  directly  to  Kamchatka.  Bering 
was  profuse  in  his  promises  to  celestial  powers,  slight- 
ing none,  Catholic  or  Protestant,  Greek  or  German. 
He  vowed  to  make  ample  donations  to  the  Russian 
church  at  Petropavlovsk  and  to  the  Lutheran  church 
at  Viborg,  Finland,  where  some  of  his  relatives  re- 

A  northerly  course  was  kept  until  the  22d  of  Octo- 
ber, when  an  easterly  breeze  made  it  possible  to  head 
the  unfortunate  craft  for  Kamchatka.  Only  fifteen 
casks  of  water  remained,  and  the  commander  was  so 
reduced  by  sickness  and  despondency  that  the  burden 
of  affairs  fell  almost  wholly  on  Wax  el.  On  the  25  th 
land  was  sighted  in  latitude  51°  and  named  St  Maka- 
rius.  This  was  the  island  of  Amchitka.  On  the 
28th  another  island  in  latitude  52°  was  named  St 
Stephen  (Kishka).  On  the  29th  in  latitude  52°  30' 
still  another  island  was  discovered  and  named  St 
Abram  (Semichi  Island).  On  the  30th  two  other 
islands  were  sighted  and  mistaken  by  the  bewildered 
navigators  as  the  first  of  the  Kuriles.  On  the  1st 
of  November  in  latitude  54°  they  found  themselves 
within  about  sixteen  miles  of  a  high  line  of  coast. 

^  The  latitude  of  the  land  was  variously  reported  by  Waxel,  and  subse- 
quently by  Chirikof  from  his  examination  of  journals,  at  51°  27',  52°  30',  and 
51°  12'.  It  is  safe  to  presume  that  the  St  John's  mountain  of  Bering  was 
situated  either  on  the  island  of  Umnak  or  on  one  of  the  Four  Peaks  Islands. 
Sokolof  was  of  the  opinion  that  it  was  Atkha  Island.  Za'p.  Hydr.,  ix.  393. 


The  condition  of  the  explorers  still  continued  critical. 
Notwithstanding  sickness  and  misery  the  decimated 
crew  was  obliged  to  work  night  and  day,  in  rain,  snow, 
and  cold;  the  sails  and  rigging  were  so  rotten  that 
it  was  dangerous  to  set  much  canvas,  even  if  the  crew 
had  been  able.^°  At  last,  on  the  4th,  the  lookout  sighted 
land.  It  was  distant;  only  the  mountain  tops  appear- 
ing above  the  horizon;  and  though  the  Sv  Petr  was 
headed  directly  for  the  land  all  day,  they  could  not 
reach  it.  An  observation  at  noon  made  the  latitude 

"  It  would  be  impossible  to  describe,"  says  Steller, 
"the  joy  created  by  the  sight  of  land;  the  dying' 
crawled  upon  deck  to  see  with  their  own  eyes  what 
they  would  not  believe;  even  the  feeble  commander 
was  carried  out  of  his  cabin.  To  the  astonishment 
of  all  a  small  keg  of  brandy  was  taken  from  some 
hiding-place  and  dealt  out  in  celebration  of  the  sup- 
posed approach  to  the  coast  of  Kamchatka." 

On  the  morning  of  the  5th  another  misfortune  was. 
discovered.  All  the  shrouds  on  the  starboard  side 
were  broken,  owing  to  contraction  caused  by  frost. 
Lieutenant  Wax  el  at  once  reported  to  the  commander, 
who  was  confined  in  his  berth,  and  from  him  received 
orders  convoking  a  council  of  officers  to  deliberate 
upon  the  situation.  It  was  well  known  that  the  fresh 
water  was  almost  exhausted,  and  that  the  ravages  of 
scorbutic  disease  were  becoming  more  alarming  every 
day.  The  continuous  wetting  with  spray  and  rain 
became  more  dangerous  and  insupportable  as  the  cold 
increased,  covering  with  a  coat  of  ice  the  surface  of 
every  object  exposed  to  its  action,  animate  or  inani- 

'"Miiller  writes:  'The  sickness  was  so  dreadful  that  the  two  sailors  who 
used  to  be  at  the  rudder  were  obliged  to  be  led  to  it  by  two  others  who  could 
hardly  walk,  and  when  one  could  sit  and  steer  no  longer  another  in  but  little 
better  condition  supplied  his  place.'  Muller's  Sammlung,  51.  The  commander 
was  still  confined  to  his  cabin;  the  ofiicers  though  scarcely  able  to  walk,  were 
quarrelling  among  themselves;  the  crew  were  dying  at  the  rate  of  one  or  two 
every  day;  no  hard  bread,  no  spirits,  and  but  very  little  water;  dampness  and 
cold;  and  to  all  this  was  added  the  almost  certainty  of  impending  disaster. 
Sokolof,  in  Zap.  IJydr.,  ix.  395. 


mate.  Soon  the  council  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
it  was  necessary  to  seek  relief  at  the  nearest  point  of 
land,  be  it  island  or  continent/^  The  wind  was  from 
the  north,  and  the  soundings  indicated  between  thirty 
and  forty  fathoms  over  sandy  bottom.  After  steering 
south-west  for  some  time  the  soundings  decreased  to 
twelve  fathoms,  and  the  vessel  was  found  to  be  only 
a  short  distance  from  the  shore.  Then  at  the  com- 
mand of  Waxel,  over  the  bows  of  the  doomed  ship, 
down  went  the  anchors  of  the  Sv  Petr  for  the  last 
time.  It  was  5  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  The  sea 
began-  to  rise,  and  in  less  than  an  hour  a  cable  broke. 
Then  other  cables  were  lost;  and  just  as  the  despair- 
ing mariners  were  about  to  bend  the  last  one  on  board, 
a  huge  wave  lifted  the  vessel  over  a  ledge  of  rocks 
into  smooth  water  of  about  four  fathoms,  but  not 
before  seriously  injuring  the  hull.  This  action  of  the 
elements  settled  the  fate  of  the  expedition;  there  w^as 
no  alternative  but  to  remain  for  the  winter  on  that 
coast,  ignorant  of  its  extent  and  location  as  they 
were.  It  was  on  a  calm  moonlit  night  that  the  stormy 
voyage  of  over  four  months  was  thus  suddenly  ter- 

All  able  to  work  were  landed  to  prepare  for  disem- 
barking the  sick.  A  preliminary  shelter  was  con- 
structed by  digging  niches  into  the  sandy  banks  of  a 
small  stream  and  covering  them  with  sails.  Drift- 
wood was  found  along  the  shore,  but  there  was  no 
sign  of  any  timber  which  might  be  made  useful.  No 
trace  of  human  occupation  was  visible.     On  the  morn- 

^1  Steller  maintains  that  Bering  refused  fo  give  the  necessary  orders,  sup- 
posing that  it  would  still  be  possible  to  reach  Avatcha,  and  that  he  was 
supported  in  his  opinion  by  Ovtzin ;  but  the  contrary  opinion  of  Waxel  and 
Khitrof  prevailed.  Sokolof,  in  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  397. 

'^  A  letter  of  one  of  the  officers  says:  'In  endeavoring  to  go  to  the  west 
we  were  cast  on  a  desert  isle  where  we  had  the  prospect  of  remaining  the 
greater  part  of  our  days.  Our  vessel  was  broken  up  on  one  of  the  banks  with 
which  the  isle  is  surrounded.  We  failed  not  to  save  ourselves  on  shore,  with 
all  such  things  as  we  thought  we  had  need  of;  for  by  a  marked  kindness  of 
providence  the  wind  and  waves  threw  after  us  upon  the  shore  the  wreck  and 
the  remains  of  our  vessel,  which  we  gathered  together  to  put  us  in  a  state, 
with  the  blessing  of  God,  to  quit  this  desolate  abode. '  Burney's  Chronol.  Hist., 
172-.3.     See  also  Sokolof,  in  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  399. 


ing  of  the  8th  preparations  for  landing  the  sick 
were  completed  and  the  work  began.  Many  of  the 
unfortunates  drew  their  last  breath  as  soon  as  they 
come  in  contact  with  the  fresh  air,  while  others  ex- 
pired during  the  process  of  removal.  During  the  day 
following  Commander  Bering  w^as  carried  ashore.  He 
had  been  daily  growing  weaker,  and  had  evidently 
made  up  his  mind  that  he  must  die.  Four  men  car- 
ried him  in  a  hand-barrow  w^ell  secured  against  the 
air.  Shortly  afterward  the  last  remnant  of  the  unfor- 
tunate ship  was  torn  from  its  single  cable  and  came 
upon  the  shore.  Steller  searched  in  vain  for  anti- 
scorbutic herbs  and  plants  under  the  deep  snow,  and 
there  was  no  game  or  wild-fowl  at  hand.  The  only 
animals  visible  on  land  were  the  pest  si  or  Arctic  foxes, 
exceedingly  bold  and  rapacious.  They  fell  upon  the 
corpses  and  devoured  them  almost  before  the  survivors 
could  make  preparations  for  their  burial.  It  seemed 
to  be  impossible  to  frighten  them  away.  The  stock 
of  powder  was  small,  and  it  would  not  do  to  waste 
it  on  beasts;  it  must  be  kept  for  killing  men.  The 
sea-otter  was  already  known  to  the  Russians  from  a 
few  specimens  captured  on  the  coast  of  Kamchatka, 
and  among  the  Kurile  Islands.  Soon  the  castaways 
discovered  the  presence  of  these  animals  in  the  sur- 
rounding waters.  The  flesh  seemed  to  them  most  pal- 
atable, and  Steller  even  considered  it  as  anti-scorbutic. 
The  skins  were  preserved  by  the  survivors  and  subse- 
quently led  to  the  discovery  of  a  wealth  that  Bering 
and  Chirikof  had  failed  to  see  in  their  voyages  of 

Some  relief  in  the  way  of  provisions  was  afforded 
by  the  carcass  of  a  whale  cast  upon  the  beach.     It 

'^  At  that  time  the  Chinese  merchants  at  Kiakhta  paid  from  SO  to 
100  rubles  for  sea-otter  skins;  900  sea-otters  were  killed  on  the  island  by 
the  crew  of  the  Sv  Petr;  the  skins  were  divided  equally  among  all,  but 
Steller  was  most  fortunate.  In  his  capacity  of  physician  he  received  many 
presents,  and  he  bought  many  skins,  the  property  of  persons  who  in  the  uncer- 
tainty of  living  held  them  in  light  esteem.  His  share  alone  is  said  to  have 
amounted  to  300  choice  skins,  which  he  carried  with  him  to  Kamchatka.  Stel- 
le7-'s  Journal,  172,  ITo,  passim;  Mullei;  Samvihuuj,  54-5. 


was  not  very  delicate  food,  but  proved  of  great  ser- 
vice when  nothing  better  could  be  had.  It  afforded 
also  the  material  for  feeding  lamps  during  the  long 
dreary  nights  of  winter.  No  distinction  was  made  in 
the  division  of  food  between  officers  and  men;  every 
one  had  a  fair  and  equal  portion.  Lieutenant  Waxel 
was  now  recognized  as  general  manager,  the  com- 
mander being  beyond  duty.  Misfortune  and  misery 
had  toned  down  the  rough  aggressiveness  of  the  lieu- 
tenant, and  nearly  all  of  the  wise  regulations  there- 
after adopted  must  be  credited  to  him,  though  he 
frequently  acted  upon  Steller's  advice.  Both  did 
their  utmost  to  give  occupation  to  all  who  were  able 
as  the  only  remedy  against  their  mortal  enemy,  the 

Toward  the  end  of  November  Khitrof  and  Waxel 
also  were  prostrated  by  disease,  and  the  prospect 
before  the  castaways  was  indeed  a  gloomy  one.  The 
excursions  to  diiferent  parts  of  the  island  in  search 
of  food  and  fuel  became  more  and  more  contracted, 
and  dull  despair  settled  upon  the  whole  community. 

As  for  the  commander,  no  wonder  he  had  longed 
to  return;  for  it  was  now  apparent  to  all,  as  it  may 
have  been  to  him  these  many  days,  that  he  must  die. 
And  we  can  pardon  him  the  infirmities  of  age,  dis- 
ease, and  temper;  the  labors  of  his  life  had  been 
severe  and  his  death  was  honorable,  though  the  con- 
ditions were  by  no  means  pleasing.  Toward  the  laso 
he  became  if  possible  more  timid,  and  exceedingly 
suspicious.  He  could  hardly  endure  even  the  pres- 
ence of  Steller,  his  friend  and  confidant,  yet  this 
faithful  companion  praises  his  firm  spirit  and  dignified 

It  was  under  such  circumstances  that  Vitus  Bering 
died — on  this  cold  forbiddino^  isle,  under  the  sky  of 
an  Arctic  wmter,  the  8th  of  December  1741,  in  a 
miserable  hut  half  covered  by  the  sand  which  came 
trickhng  down  upon  him  Jhrough  the  boards  that  had 
been  placed  to  bar  its  progress.     Thus  passed  from 


earth,  as  nameless  tens  of  thousands  have  done,  the 
illustrious  commander  of  the  expeditions  which  had 
disclosed  the  separation  of  the  two  worlds  and  dis- 
covered north-westernmost  America. 

On  the  10th  of  December  the  second  mate,  Kho- 
tiaintzof,  died,  and  a  few  days  later  three  of  the  sailors. 
On  the  8th  of  January  death  demanded  another  vic- 
tim, the  commissary  Lagunof,  making  thirty-one  up 
to  this  time.^* 

At  length  the  survivors  began  slowly  to  improve  in 
health.  The  ship's  constable,  Rossilius,  with  two  men, 
was  despatched  northward  to  explore;  but  they  learned 
only  that  they  were  on  an  island.  Later  the  sailor, 
Anchugof,  was  ordered  south  ward,  and  after  an  absence 
of  nearly  four  weeks  he  returned  half-starved,  with- 
out information  of  any  kind.  Another  was  sent  west, 
but  with  the  same  result.  It  was  only  then  that  many 
would  believe  they  were  not  on  the  shore  of  Kam- 
chatka, and  that  it  depended  upon  their  own  exertions 
whether  they  ever  left  their  present  dwellings,  cer- 
tainly not  very  attractive  ones,  these  excavations  in 
the  earth  roofed  over  with  sails.^^  The  foreigners 
formed  a  separate  colony  in  one  large  cavity.  There 
were  five  of  these,  Steller,  Rossilius,  Plenisner,  Assist- 
ant Surgeon  Betge,  and  a  soldier  named  Zand.  Waxel 
occupied  a  dwelling  by  himself  and  another  private 
domicile  had  been  constructed  by  the  two  boatswains, 
Ivanof  and  Alexeief  All  the  others  lived  together 
in  one  large  excavation. 

The  provisions  were  by  no  means  abundant,  but 

^*  A  list  of  the  effects  of  Bering  and  the  petty  officers,  preserved  in  the 
naval  archives,  contains:  3  quadrants,  1  chronometer,  1  compass,  1  spy -glass, 
1  gold  watch,  1  pair  of  pistols,  8  copper  drinking-cups,  a  few  pipes,  11  books 
on  navigation,  a  bundle  of  charts,  2  bundles  of  calculations,  7  maps,  and  8 
dozen  packs  of  playing-cards.  With  the  exception  of  the  playing-cards,  all 
were  sold  at  auction  in  Kamchatka,  and  brought  1,000  rubles.  Sokolof,  in  Zap. 
Hydr.,  ix   10,  11. 

'^  Nagaief ,  an  assistant  of  Sokolof  in  the  collection  and  digestion  of  docu- 
ments concerning  the  expedition,  states  that  he  found  original  entries  of  Waxel 
and  Khitrof  in  the  journal,  to  the  efTect  that  after  Bering's  death  the  only  two 
remaining  officers  declared  their  willingaess-  to  temporarily  resign  their  rank 
and  put  themselves  on  an  equality  withthe  men,  but  that  the  latter  refused, 
and  continued  to  obey  their  superiors.  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cvi.  215. 


great  care  was  exercised  in  distributing  them,  keeping 
always  in  view  the  possibiHty  of  a  further  sea- voyage 
in  search  of  Kamchatka.  The  principal  food  was  the 
meat  of  marine  mammals  killed  about  the  shore,  sea- 
otters,  seals,  and  sea-lions.  Carcasses  of  whales  were 
cast  ashore  twice  during  the  winter,  and  though  in 
an  advanced  state  of  putrefaction  they  yielded  an 
abundant  supply  to  the  unfortunates,  who  had  ceased 
to  be  very  particular  as  to  the  quality  of  their  diet. 
In  the  spring  the  sea-cows  made  their  appearance  and 
furnished  the  mariners  with  an  abundance  of  more 
palatable  meat.  The  only  fuel  was  drift-wood,  for 
which  they  had  to  mine  the  deep  snow  for  eight  or 
ten  miles  round.  The  winter  was  cold  and  stormy 
throughout,  and  the  approach  of  spring  was  heralded 
by  dense  fogs  hanging  about  the  island  for  weeks 
without  lifting  sufficiently  to  afford  a  glance  at  the 
surrounding  sea. 

A  council  was  now  held  and  some  proposed  sending 
the  single  remaining  ship's  boat  for  assistance ;  others 
were  of  the  opinion  that  the  ship  itself,  though  half 
broken  up,  might  still  be  repaired;  but  finally  it  was 
determined  to  take  the  wreck  entirely  to  pieces  and 
out  of  therfTconstruct  a  new  craft  of  a  size  sufficient 
to  hold  the  entire  company.  A  singular  question 
here  presented  itself  to  these  navigators,  accustomed 
as  they  were  to  the  iron  discipline  of  the  imperial 
service,  Would  they  not  be  punished  for  taking  to 
pieces  a  government  vessel?  After  some  discussion 
it  dawned  on  their  dim  visions  that  perhaps  after 
all  the  punishment  of  their  dread  ruler  might  be 
no  worse  than  death  on  that  island.  Hence  it  was 
solemnly  resolved  to  begin  at  once;  the  wreck  was 
dismantled,  and  in  May  the  keel  was  laid  for  the 
new  vessel. 

The  three  ship's  carpenters  were  dead,  but  a  Cossack 
who  had  once  worked  in  the  ship-yard  at  Okhotsk 
was  chosen  to  superintei^  the  construction,  and  he 
proved    quite    successful  in   drawing    the   plans  and 


moulding  the  frames/^  The  lack  of  material  and 
tools  naturally  delayed  the  work,  and  it  was  the  10th 
of  August  before  the  vessel  could  be  launched.  She 
was  constructed  almost  wholly  without  iron,  and  meas- 
ured thirty-six  feet  in  length  at  the  keel,  and  forty- 
one  feet  on  deck,  with  a  beam  of  twelve  feet  and  a 
depth  of  hold  of  only  five  and  a  half  feet.  She  was 
still  called  the  Sv  Petr.  The  vessel  had  to  be  provi- 
sioned wholly  from  the  meat  of  sea-animals.^'' 

On  the  16th  of  August,^^  after  a  stay  of  over 
nine  months  on  this  island,  to  which  they  gave  the 
name  of  Bering,  at  the  suggestion  of  Khitrof,  and 
after  protracted  prayers  and  devotions,  this  remnant 
of  the  commander's  crew  set  sail  from  the  scene  of 
suffering  and  disaster.  On  the  third  day  out,  as  might 
be  expected  from  such  construction,  the  vessel  was 
found  to  be  leaking  badly,  and  within  half  an  hour 
there  were  two  feet  of  water  in  the  hold.  Some  lead 
and  ammunition  were  thrown  out,  and  the  leak  was 
stopped.  On  the  ninth  day  the  hearts  of  the  unhappy 
crew  were  gladdened  by  a  full  view  of  the  Kamchatka 
shore,  and  on  the  following  day,  the  26th  of  August, 
the  juvenile  Sv  Petr  was  safely  anchored  in  the  bay 
of  Avatcha.  The  survivors  were  received  by  the  few 
inhabitants  of  Petropavlovsk  with  great  rejoicing; 
they  had  long  since  been  given  up  as  dead.  They 
remained  at  the  landing-place  to  recuperate  for 
nearly  a  year,  and  finally  proceeded  to  Okhotsk  in 

"^  He  succeeded  so  well  in  his  undertaking  that  he  received  as  reward  from 
the  grateful  empress  the  patent  of  nobility.  Sammlung,  xx.  394. 

^^  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  413.  The  author  of  t\\Q  Sammlungen  states  that  when 
the  sea-otters  disappeared  in  March  the  llussians  had  recourse  to  dogs,  bears, 
and  lions,  meaning  of  course  seals  (seehund),  fur-seal  (seebdr),  and  sea-lions. 
Samm/nitg.  xx.  39.3. 

i^Sokolof  makes  the  date  of  departure  the  12th.  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  413; 
obviously  an  error  on  the  part  of  some  one. 

^^  In  the  church  of  Petropavlovsk  there  is  still  preserved  a  memorial  of 
this  event;  a  silver  mounted  image  of  the  apostles  Peter  and  Paul  with  the 
inscription,  '  An  oiTering  iu  memory  of  our  miraculous  rescue  from  a  barren 
island,  and  our  return  to  the  coast  of  Kamchatka,  by  lieutenant  Dimitri 
Ovtzin,  and  the  whole  company,  Augus^741.'  Polonski,  Kamchatka  Archives, 
MS.,  vol.  xiii. 


Before  he  had  fairly  recovered  from  the  effects  of 
his  last  voyage,  Chirikof  made  another  effort  to  see 
something  more  of  the  American  coast  which  he  had 
found.  He  commanded  the  >Si'  Pavel  again,  but  the 
only  officer  of  the  former  voyage  now  with  him  was 
the  pilot  Yelagin.^"  Sailing  from  Avatcha  Bay  the 
25th  of  May  1742,  he  shaped  his  course  due  east. 
His  progress  was  slow,  and  on  the  8th  of  June  he 
sighted  the  first  land  in  latitude  52°.  Only  the  snow- 
covered  tops  of  high  mountains  were  visible  above  the 
fog  and  clouds  which  enveloped  the  island  called  by 
Chirikof,  St  Theodore,  but  which  we  know  to-day  as 
Attoo.  A  series  of  southerly  gales  then  set  in  which 
carried  the  ship  northward  to  latitude  54°  30'.  On 
the  16th  of  June,  owing  to  the  wretched  condition  of 
the  vessel,  it  was  deemed  best  to  return  to  Kamchatka. 
On  the  way  back  the  Sv  Pavel  passed  within  a  short 
distance  of  the  island  where  at  that  moment  Bering's 
companions  were  still  suffering.  Chirikof  sighted  the 
southern  point  of  the  island  and  named  it  St  Julian. 
The  expedition  reached  Petropavlovsk  the  1st  of  July.  ^^ 

^"Miiller,  Voyage,  112,  maintains  that  Chirikof  intended  to  search  for 
Bering;  but  Sokolof  scouts  the  idea  upon  the  ground  that  he  could  not  have 
had  the  faintest  suspicion  of  his  whereabouts ;  it  was  then  believed  tliat  Bering 
and  all  his  crew  had  perished.  Solcolof,  in  Zajj.  Hydr.,  ix.  414. 

-^  As  this  last  attempt  of  Chirikof  ends  the  operations  of  the  expedition 
which  accomplished  the  discovery  of  the  American  coast,  the  official  list  of 
all  those  engaged  in  the  enterprise  in  its  various  branches,  taken  from  Bering's 
private  journal,  will  not  be  out  of  place.  The  names  are  arranged  according 
to  rank  as  follows:  Captain-commander,  Vitus  Bering;  captains,  Martin 
Spanberg  and  Alexei  Chirikof;  lieutenants,  Dmitri  Laptief ,  Yegor  Endogurof, 
William  Walton,  Peter  Lassenius,  Dmitri  Ovtzin,  Stej^an  Muravief,  Mikhail 
Pavlof,  Stepan  Malygin,  Alexei  Skuratof,  Ivan  Sukhotin,  Hariton  Laptief, 
Ivan  Chikhachef;  midshipman,  Alexei  Schelting;  mates,  Sven  Waxel,  Vassill 
Promchishchef,  Mikhail  Phmting,  Andreian  Eselberg,  Lev  Kazimerof,  Ivan 
Kashelef,  Fedor  Minin,  Sofron  Kliitrof,  Abram  Dementief;  second  mates, 
Ivan  Vereshchagin,  Ivan  Yelagin,  Matvei  Petrof,  Dmitri  Sterlegof,  Semen 
Cheliuskin,  Vassili  Rtishchef,  Vassili  Andreief,  Gavril  Rudnef,  Peter  Pazni- 
akof,  Marko  Golovin,  Ivan  Biref,  Kharlam  Yushin,  Moissei  Yurlof,  Andrei 
Shiganof;  marines,  Vassili  Perenago,  Joann  Synd,  Andreian  Yurlof;  naval 
cadets,  Mikhail  Scherbinin,  Vassili  Khmetevski,  Ossip  Glazof,  Emilian 
Rodichef,  Andrei  Velikopolski,  Fedor  Kanishchef,  Sergei  Spiridof,  Sei-gei 
Sunkof ;  commissaries,  Agafon  Choglokof,  Fedor  Kolychef,  Stepan  Ivashenin, 
Ivan  Lagunof ;  navigators,  Ivan  Belui,  Alikhail  Vosikof ;  assistant  navigators, 
Dmitri  Korostlef,  Nikita  Khotiaintzof;  boatswains,  Niels  Jansen,  Sidor 
Savelief;  boatswaua's  mate,  Fedor  Kozlof;  boat-builders,  Andrei  Kozmin, 
William  Butzovski,  Henrich  Hovins,  Caspar  Feich;  assistant  surgeons, 
Ivan  Stupin,  William  Berensen,  Peter  Brauner,  Sim  Gren,  Thomas  Vinzen- 



In  the  August  following,  and  before  the  survivors  of 
Bering's  party  could  reach  that  port,  Chirikof  sailed 
for  Okhotsk. 

dorf,  Henricli  Schaffer,  Elias  Giinther,  Kii'il  Shemchushuykof,  Moritz  Ar- 
menus,  Andreas  Heei',  Ivan  Paxin,  Henrich  Hebel,  Mikhail  Brant,  Matthias 
Betge,  Johann  Lau;  academicians,  Gerhard  Miiller,  Johaiin  Gmelin,  Louis 
Croj'ere;  Professor  Johann  Fischer;  adjunct,  George  Wilhelm  Steller;  stu- 
dents, Stepan  Krashennikof,  Fedor  Popof,  Luka  Ivanof,  Alexei  Tretiakof, 
Alexe'i  Gorlonof;  instrument-maker,  Stepan  Ovsiannikof;  painter,  Johann 
Berkhan;  draughtsman,  Johann  Lui'senino;  translator,  Ilia  Yakhontof;  sur- 
veyors, Andrei  Krassilnikof,  Nikifor  Chekin,  Moissei  Oushakof,  Alexander 
Ivanof,  Peter  Skobeltzin,  Dmitri  Baskakof,  Ivan  Svistunof,  Vassili  Shetilof, 
Vassili  Selifontof,  Ivan  Kindiarof,  Vassili  Somof,  Mikhail  Gvozdef ;  assistant 
surveyors,  Mikhail  Vuikhodzef,  Fedor  Prianishnikof,  Alexei  Maksheief, 
Ivan  Shavrigin;  assay er,  Simon  Gardebol;  mineralogists,  Dmitri  Odintzof, 
Friedrich  Weidel,  Elias  Schehl,  Zakar  Medvedef,  Agapius  Leskin,  Ivan 
Samoilof .  There  was  also  one  parish  priest,  with  six  subordinate  members  of 
the  clergy.  The  following  is  the  naval  roster  of  Bering's  command  as  dis- 
tributed among  the  various  divisions  of  the  expedition. 

EosTER  OF  Bering's  Command  in  1740. 

Captain  Commander, 





Second  Mates 

Naval  Cadets 


Ass't  Surgeons 

Medical  Cadets 


Boatswain's  Mates.  . 


















On  the  Ships  of 

Bering.     Chin-      Span- 
"       kof.         berg. 


On  the  Double 

of  with 

Span-      Arctic 
berg.      Exped. 



In  the 

White   T^tal. 


































Call  it  science,  or  patriotism,  or  progress,  there  is 
this  to  be  said  about  the  first  Russian  discoveries  in 
America — little  would  have  been  heard  of  them  for 
some  time  to  come  if  ever,  had  it  not  been  for  the 
beautiful  furs  brought  back  from  Bering  Island  and 

According  to  the  ledgers  of   the  admiralty  college  the  expenditure  in 
behalf  of  the  expedition  up  to  the  end  of  the  year  1742  has  been  as  follows: 




For  pay  and  uniform 







For  provisions 


At  St  Petersburg            ^ 

For  transportation 


For  scientific  instruments 







At  Kazan 


At  Arkhangelsk 

Rigging,  lumber,  and  provisions. 








At  Ilinsk 


In  the  Province  of  Siberia. 

Cash,  provisions,  and  stores .... 
Sundry  expenditure 



Grand  total 



Sokolof,  in  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  446-52. 

Spanberg  made  a  reconnoissance  in  the  sea  of  Okhotsk  in  1740.  In  Sep- 
tember 174  J  he  crossed  from  Okhotsk  to  Kamchatka  with  the  packet-boat 
Sv  loann,  the  'hmg&ntine  Arkhawjr-l  Mikhail,  the  double  sloop  Nadeshda,  and 
the  sloop  Bolsherelsk,  this  being  the  beginning  of  an  official  expedition  to 
Japan.  Although  the  squadron  was  so  pretentious,  and  had  on  board  many 
learned  men  who  were  to  expound  the  mysteries  of  those  parts,  nothing  of 
importance  came  from  it.  This  was  one  branch  of  the  explorations  included 
in  Bering's  scheme.  Another  was  a  survey  of  the  coast  of  Okhotsk  Sea  by 
Lieutenant  Walton  in  1741. 

Explorations  were  also  carried  on  along  the  Kamchatka  coast.  In  1742  Sur- 
veyor Oushakof  explored  the  coast  from  Bolsheretsk  northward  to  Figil,  and 
from  the  Bay  of  Avatcha  to  Cape  Kronotzkoi.  A  portion  of  this  work  had 
previously  been  attempted  by  the  pilot  Yelagin  in  1739,  and  maps  prepared 
by  him  are  still  preserved  in  the  naval  archives  at  St  Petersburg,  but  for 
some  reason  the  later  survey  was  adopted  as  authority.  Steller  and  Gorlanof 
continued  their  investigations  in  Kamchatka  until  1744.  In  accordance  with 
instructions  they  also  experimented  in  agricultural  pursuits,  meeting  with  no 
success  in  their  attempts.  When  the  combined  commands  of  Chinkof, 
Waxel,  and  Spalding  arrived  at  Okhotsk,  they  found  orders  awaiting  them  to 
proceed  to  Yakutsk  and  remain  there  for  further  instructions.  This  order 
virtually  ended  the  expedition.  The  leaders  claimed  that  all  its  objects 
had  been  attained  as  far  as  possible.     Many  of  the  officers  and  scientists 


elsewhere,  Siberia  was  still  suflEicient  to  satisfy  the 
tsar  for  purposes  of  expatriation,  and  the  Russians 
were  not  such  zealots  as  to  undertake  conquest  for 
the  sake  of  conversion,  and  to  make  religion  a  cloak 

had  already  returned  before  accomplishing  their  task;  others  were  still 
detained  by  sickness  and  other  circumstances ;  others  again  had  died  and  the 
force  still  fit  for  duty  of  any  kind  was  very  much  reduced.  The  provisions 
amassed  with  such  immense  labor  and  trouble  had  been  expended,  the  rigging 
and  sails  of  ships  were  completely  worn  out,  the  ships  themselves  were  unsea- 
worthy,  and  the  resources  of  all  Siberia  had  been  nearly  exhausted.  The 
native  tribes  and  convict  settlers  had  been  crushed  by  the  most  oppressive  re- 
quisitions in  labor  and  stores,  and  even  the  forests  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  settlements  had  been  thinned  out  to  an  alarming  extent  for  the  require- 
ments of  the  expedition.  In  1743  a  famine  raged  in  eastern  Siberia  to  such 
an  extent  that  in  the  month  of  September  an  imperial  oukaz  ordained  the 
immediate  suspension  of  other  operations.  The  force  was  divided  into  small 
detachments  and  scattered  here  and  there  in  the  more  fertile  districts  of 
Siberia.  The  temporary  suspension  of  the  labors  of  the  expedition  was  fol- 
lowed by  an  entire  abandonment  of  the  work.  The  Siberian  contingents 
returned  to  their  proper  stations,  the  sailors  and  mechanics  belonging  to  the 
navy  were  ordered  to  Tomsk  and  Yenisseisk.  Through  intrigues  at  the 
imperial  court  the  commanders  were  long  detained  in  the  wilds  of  Siberia; 
Chirikof  and  Spanberg  until  1746,  "Waxel  until  1749,  and  Rtishchef  until 
1754,  when  a  new  expedition  was  already  on  the  tajAs.  The  original  charts 
and  journals  of  the  expedition  were  forwarded  to  Irkutsk  only  in  17o4,  though 
official  copies  had  certainly  been  taken  previous  to  that  time.  From  Irkutsk 
they  were  removed  in  1759  to  the  city  of  Tobolsk,  and  agaua  copied.  No 
reason  was  given  for  retaining  the  originals,  but  it  is  certain  that  they  were 
destroyed  durmg  a  fire  in  Tobolsk  in  1788.  Zap.  Hydr.,  v.  265.  Records  of 
promotions  conferred  upon  a  few  members  of  the  expedition  have  been  pre- 
served. Ovtzin  and  Laptief  were  made  lieutenants  on  Wax  el's  recommenda- 
tion in  1743;  Alexei  Ivanof  and  Yelagin  were  promoted  to  the  same  rank  on 
Chu-ikof's  recommendation  in  1744.  On  the  20th  of  November  1749  an  im- 
perial oukaz  bestowed  a  money  reward  upon  all  the  survivors  of  Bering's 
command  on  the  Sv  Petr,  'for  having  suffered  many  unheard  of  hardships.' 
Khitrof  was  made  a  lieutenant  and  finally  captain  of  the  first  rank.  Waxel 
was  promoted  to  a  captain  of  the  second  rank  in  1744,  while  all  his  command 
obtained  a  reward  in  money  from  the  admiralty  college.  In  1754  the  force 
of  Lieutenant  Rtishchef  at  Tomsk  consisted  of  42  men,  and  that  of  Lieutenant 
Khenetevski  at  Okliotsk,  of  46  men;  the  last  two  officers  evidently  remained 
in  Siberia,  as  they  are  mentioned  again  in  the  archives  of  Okhotsk  as  captains 
in  1773. 

The  marine  Synd,  who  undertook  the  unfortunate  expedition  to  Bering 
Straits,  also  remained  in  Siberia,  promoted  to  the  rank  of  lieutenant,  and 
died  at  Okhotsk  in  1779.  Siberian  Archives;  Midler,  9th  ser. ;  Zap.  Hijdr.,  v. 
268.  The  young  widow  of  the  astronomer  De  la  Croyere  in  1774  married 
Captain  Lebedef,  who  was  assigned  to  the  command  of  Kamchatka.  Sgilmef, 
in  Morakoi  Sbornik;  cii.  5,  55.  The  town  of  Okhotsk  had  received  a  great 
impetus  during  the  operations  of  the  Bering  expedition,  for  which  it  served 
as  the  maritime  base.  A  few  rude  vessels  were  constructed  at  Okhotsk 
during  the  first  decade  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and  official  records  are  still 
in  existence  of  all  the  shipping  constructed  at  that  port  from  the  year  1714 
to  modern  times.  Up  to  the  time  when  Bering's  exiDcdition  left  Okhotsk  for 
the  interior  of  Siberia  19  vessels  were  enumerated  in  this  list.  The  first  of 
these  vessels  was  a  lodka,  a  craft  with  one  mast,  half-decked  over,  27  feet  in 
length,  with  18  (!)  feet  beam,  drawing  with  a  full  cargo  only  three  feet  and 
a  half  of  water.     The  keel  was  laid  at  Okhotsk  in  May  1714,  and  she  was 


for  tlieir  atrocities;  hence,  but  for  these  costly  skins, 
each  of  which  proclaimed  in  loudest  strains  the  glories 
of  Alaska,  the  Great  Land  might  long  have  rested 

launched  in  May  1710.  The  builder  was  carpenter  Kiril  Plotniteki(?).  The 
vessel  had  a  brief  existence,  for  she  stranded  in  17-1,  and  was  finally  burned 
for  the  iron  in  17-7.  The  second  vessel  was  of  the  same  class.  The  keel  was 
laid  in  1718  for  the  first  Kamchatka  expedition,  but  she  was  never  finished, 
and  rotted  on  the  stocks.  The  third  was  also  a  lodka,  54  feet  in  length  by  18 
in  width;  she  was  constructed  at  Oudsk,  near  Okhotsk,  in  1719,  by  one  Teta- 
rinof.  This  craft  also  was  never  launched,  and  finally  fell  to  pieces.  The 
fourth  vessel,  also  a  lodka,  was  begun  by  a  carpenter  named  Kargopoltzof, 
in  17-0,  and  laimched  in  1723.  Bcrmg  caused  her  to  be  retimbered  in  1727, 
and  in  1734  the  vessel  was  beached  as  unseaworthy,  but  she  was  finally 
repaired  in  1741  and  wrcckotl  on  the  Kurile  Islaiids  in  tlie  same  year.  The 
fifth,  a  lodka,  was  built  near  Okhotsk  in  1724,  but  was  never  finished  'for 
want  of  material.'  The  .sixth  vessel  constructed  at  Okhotsk  was  the  shitika 
Fortima,  built  in  one  year  by  a  marine,  Chaplin,  probably  an  Englishman, 
and  launched  in  June  1727.  In  1730  the  Fortima  was  hauled  up  as  unsea- 
worthy, but  in  1731  she  was  repaired  once  moi'e  and  finally  retiml^ered  in 
1737,  and  wrecked  in  the  same  year  near  Bolsheretsk.  The  seventh  on  the 
list,  the  Sv  Gai-ril,  was  constructed  under  Bering's  immediate  supervision  at 
Nishekamchatsk  in  the  year  1728.  In  1737  she  was  retunbered  by  Lieu- 
tenant opanberg  at  Okhotsk.  In  1738  she  was  wrecked  on  the  coast  of  Kam- 
chatka, but  again  repaired  in  the  follovvuig  year,  1739.  She  was  finally  broken 
up  as  unseaworthy  in  1755.  The  eighth  vessel  constructed  at  Okhotsk  was 
the  Vostochnid  Gavril,  or  Eastern  Gabriel,  built  in  1729  by  Sphanef  for  Shes- 
takof's  expedition.  After  Gvozdef's  voyage  to  Bering  Strait  the  Eastern 
Gabriel  was  wrecked  in  October  1739  by  Fedoref  near  Bolsheretsk.  The  Lev 
(Lion)  was  also  built  by  Sphanef  at  Okhotsk  in  1729,  but  was  burned  by  the 
hostile  Koriaks  in  September  of  the  sr^me  year.  A  lodka  built  by  Churckr.ief 
iu  1729  is  the  tenth  on  the  list.  The  navigator  Moshkof  used  this  craft  for 
an  exploration  of  the  Shantar  Islands,  but  she  proved  unseaworthy  and  was 
abandoned.  Next  on  the  list  is  the  brigantine  Arkhangel  Mikhail,  begun  at 
Okhotsk  in  1735  and  launched  in  1737  for  Bering's  second  expedition.  The 
builders  were  Rogachef  and  Kozmin,  superintended  by  Spanberg  himself. 
The  brigantine  did  good  service,  but  was  finally  wrecked  in  1753.  The  12th 
on  the  list  is  the  double  sloop  Nadeshda,  with  three  masts  (?)  and  gaff-top- 
sails. She  was  begun  by  the  same  builders  at  Okhotsk  in  1735  and  launched  in 
1737.  This  also  proved  a  useful  ci'aft,  but  she  was  finally  wrecked  in  1753 
by  one  Naoumof  on  the  Kurile  Islands.  The  sloop  Bolsheretsh  was  built  by 
Spanberg  in  1739  of  bii'ch  timber,  and  provided  with  18  oars.  She  was 
declared  to  be  unseaworthy  in  1745.  The  galiot  Okhotsk,  the  14th  on  the 
list,  was  built  by  Rogachef  at  Okhotsk  in  1737.  Ten  years  later  she  was 
repaired,  and  wrecked  the  year  after.  The  packet-boat  *S'('  Petr,  the  vessel 
in  which  Bering  sailed,  was  also  built  by  Rogachef  and  Kozmin  in  1741. 
She  was  wrecked  and  rebuilt  on  Bering  Island  in  the  same  year,  as  we  have 
seen.  The  vessel  of  Chirikof,  the  big  •S'l;  Pavel,  was  built  by  the  same  per- 
sons in  Okhotsk  and  launched  in  1740,  and  only  four  years  later  she  was 
abandoned  as  unseaworthy.  The  next  on  the  list  is  the  packet-boat  /oan 
Krest'del,  or  St  John  the  Baptist,  built  in  Okhotsk  by  Kozmin  1741,  for  Span- 
berg's  expedition,  and  wrecked  near  Bolsheretsk  in  October  1743,  under  com- 
mand of  Lieutenant  Khmetevski.  The  sloop  Elizaveta,  the  18th  on  the  list, 
was  built  at  Okhotsk  bj'  Kozmin,  wrecked  on  the  Kamchatka  coast  in  1745, 
repaired,  and  wrecked  again  in  1755.  The  small  Sv  Petr,  built  on  Bering 
Island  out  of  the  remains  of  the  larger  vessel,  was  sunk  on  the  coast  of  Kam- 
chatka in  1753,  but  raised  and  beached  in  1754.  Okhotsk  Archives;  Syibnef, 
Moiskoi  Sbornik,  1S55,  12-210. 
Hist.  Alaska.    7 


unclisturbecl.  Be  that  as  it  may,  it  was  chiefly  on  the 
voyages  of  Bering  and  Chirikof  that  Russia  ever  after 
based  lier  claim  to  the  ownership  of  north-western- 
most America.  ^'^ 

^-  The  voyages  of  Vitus  Bering  have  funiished  material  for  much  learned 
discussion.  The  French  astronomer  Dc  LTsle  de  la  Croy^re  advanced  the 
claim  of  having  been  largely  instrumental  in  their  accomplishment,  more  so  per- 
haps than  he  was  justly  entitled  to,  though  it  cannot  be  denied  that  he  had 
much  to  say  in  the  organization  of  the  second  expedition  under  Bering.  With 
the  honor  of  having  planned  the  expedition,  he  should  not  attempt  to  escape 
the  odium  of  having  furnished  it  with  such  villainous  charts,  to  which  ihay  be 
attributed  most  of  that  suffering  and  loss  of  life  which  followed.  Nor  is  he  by 
any  means  just  to  Bering,  seeking  as  he  does  in  his  account  to  deprive  him  of 
any  part  in  the  discovery,  claiming  that  Chirikof's  party  made  the  only  dis- 
covery Avorthy  of  mention.  He  does  not  even  state  that  Bering  touched  upon 
the  American  coast  at  all;  according  to  his  narrative  Bering ' sailed  from  Kam- 
chatka, but  did  not  go  far,  having  been  compelled  by  a  storm  to  anchor  at  a 
desert  island  where  he  and  most  of  his  companions  perished.'  An  author 
makes  nothing  by  such  trickery.  His  attempted  deceit  is  sure  eooner  or 
later  to  fall  back  upon  his  own  lacad.  Nor  will  it  do  to  pretend  ignorance. 
Professor  Miiller,  of  the  imperial  academy  of  science,  accompanied  Bering 
on  his  last  voyage.  At  the  time  De  LTsle  was  writing  his  treatise  Muller 
Vv-as  living  in  the  same  street  in  St  Petersburg,  and  meeting  as  they  must 
have  done  daily,  it  would  have  been  easy  to  ascertain  the  truth  if  he  had 
wished  to  knov/  it.  That  such  wretched  maps  as  Croyere's  should  have  been 
given  to  the  world  by  Russia,  or  in  her  name,  is  all  the  more  to  be  deplored, 
because  the  Russians,  though  they  had  then  scarcely  gained  a  place  among 
seafaring  nations,  had  made  the  most  strenuous  efforts  at  discovery  in  water? 
so  inhospitable  that  people  less  imu'ed  to  the  rigors  of  climate,  and  less  de- 
spotically governed,  would  never  have  thought  of  navigating  them.  Others 
may  have  furnished  the  idea  which  the  Russians  alone,  who  to  be  sure  would 
reap  the  first  benefits  from  such  discoveries,  were  possessed  of  power  and 
endurance  to  carrj'  out. 




Eft^ct  of  the  Discovery  in  Siberia — HujSTIng  Expeditions  in  Search 
OF  Sea-otters — Voyages  of  Bassof,  Nevodchikof,  and  Yugof — 
Rich  Harvests  of  Sea-otter  and  Fur-seal  Skins  from  the  Aleu- 
tian Archipelago — ^The  Cunning  Promyshleniki  and  the  Mild 
Islanders— The  Old  Tale  of  Wrong  and  Atiiocity— Bloodshed 
on  Attoo  Island— Early  Monopolies — Chuprof's  and  Kholodilof's 
Adventures— Russlans  Defeated  on  Unalaska  and  Amlia— Yu- 
gof's  Unfortunate  Speculation — Further  Discovery — The  Fate  of 
GoLODOF — Other  Adventures. 

One  would  think  that,  with  full  knowledge  of  the 
sufferings  and  dangers  encountered  by  Bering's  and 
Chirikofs  expeditions,  men  w^ould  hesitate  before  risk- 
ing their  lives  for  otter-skins.  But  such  was  not  the 
case.  When  a  small  vessel  was  made  ready  to  follow 
the  course  of  the  Sv  Petr  and  the  Sv  Pavel  there  was 
no  lack  of  men  to  join  it,  though  some  of  them  w^ere 
still  scarcely  able  to  crawl,  from  the  effects  of  former 
disaster.  As  the  little  sable  had  enticed  the  Cossack 
from  the  Black  Sea  and  the  Volga  across  the  Ural 
Mountains  and  the  vast  plains  of  Siberia  to  the  shores 
of  the  Okhotsk  Sea  and  the  Pacific,  so  now  the  sea- 
otter  lures  the  same  venturesome  race  out  among  the 
islands,  and  ice,  and  fog-banks  of  ocean. 

The  first  to  engage  in  hunting  sea-otters  and  other 
fur-bearing  animals,  east  of  Kamchatka,  was  Emilian 
Bassof,  who  embarked  as  early  as  1743,  if  we  may 
believe  Vassili  Berg,  our  best  authority  on  the  sub- 
ject.^    Bassof  was  sergeant  of  the  military  company 

'  Berg,  Khronologicheskdia  Istoria  Otiirytiy  Aleutskikh  Ostrovahh,  2,  3,  i)a.s- 


of  lower  Kamchatka,  whose  imagination  had  become 
excited  b}^  the  wealth  brought  home  by  Bering's  crew. 
Forming  a  partnership  with  a  merchant  from  Moscow, 
Andrei  Serebrennikof,  he  built  a  small  shitika^  which 
he  called  the  Kapiton,  sailed  to  Bering  Island,  passed 
the  winter  there,  and  returned  to  Kamchatka  in  the 
follo^\*ing  year.^  A  second  voyage  was  made  the  fol- 
lowing July,*  with  Nikofor  Trapeznikof  as  partner, 
the  same  vessel  being  employed.  Besides  Bering 
Island,  Bassof  also  visited  Copper  Island,  and  col- 
lected 1,600  sea-ottere,  2,000  fur-seals,  and  2,000  blue 
Arctic  foxes.  From  this  trip  Bassof  returned  on  the 
31st  of  July  1746.  A  third  voyage  was  undertaken 
by  Bassof  in  1747,  from  Avhich  he  returned  in  the 
following  year,  and  embarked  for  a  last  voyage  in 

sim.  Most  authorities  are  silent  concemiDg  this  expedition,  but  Sgibnef, 
Morshoi  Sbornih,  cii.  74,  states  that  Bassof  sailed  on  his  first  voyage  in  1743. 

^  The  shitikas,  from  the  E,^^ssian  shi-'d,  to  sew,  were  vessels  made  almost 
without  iron  bolts,  the  planks  being  'sewed'  together  or  fastened  with  leather 
or  seal-skin  thongs. 

*  From  pipers  preserved  in  the  chancellerj'  of  Bolsheretsk.  See  also  Berg, 
Khfonoloijlcheslcciia  Istoria,  3,  4. 

■*  The  author  of  Xeue  Nachrlrhten  doubts  the  authenticity  of  these  state- 
ments. But,  as  Berg  had  access  to  all  the  arcliives,  we  may  safely  accept  his 
statement,  though  in  the  chronological  table  appended  to  his  work  the  expedi- 
tion of  the  Kapiton  is  omitted.  Berg,  Khronol.  Istoria,  Appendix.  Sgibnef 
states  that  Bassof  formed  a  partnership  with  Trapeznikof  in  1747  to  undertake 
'  the  second  voyage,'  from  which  they  realized  a  return  of  112,220  rubles. 
Morsloi  Sbornik,  cii. -v.  74. 

^  A  report  to  the  commander  of  Okhotsk  with  reference  to  the  third  voj'- 
age  was  discovered  by  Prince  >Shakhovskoi  in  the  archives  of  Okhotsk.  From 
this  document  Berg  gives  the  following  extracts:  'Most  respectful  report  of 
Sergeant  Emilian  I3assof  to  the  councillor  of  the  port  of  Okhotsk : — After  hav- 
ing set  out  with  some  Cossacks  upon  a  sea-voyage  last  year  (1747),  in  search 
of  unknown  islands,  in  the  shitika  Sv  Petr,  at  our  own  expense,  we  arrived 
at  a  previously  discovered  small  island,'  Copper  Island.  'On  the  beach  about 
50  pounds  of  native  copper  was  gathered.  On  the  south-eastern  side  of  the 
same  island  we  found  some  unknown  material,  some  ore  or  mineral,  of  which 
v.-e  took  a  pound  or  two.  Our  men  picked  up  205  pebbles  on  the  beach  great 
and  small,  and  among  them  were  two  yellow  ones  and  one  pink.  We  also 
found  a  new  kind  of  fish. .  .We  brought  with  us  to  the  port  of  Nishekam- 
chatsk  sea-otters  male  and  female  970  skins,  and  the  same  number  of  tails, 
and  1,520  blue  foxes.  These  furs  were  all  divided  in  sliares  among  those  who 
were  with  me  on  the  above-mentioned  voyage..  .Sergeant  Emilian  Bassof.' 
Berg,  Khronol.  Istoria,  4.  The  ship  Sv  Petr,  Captain  Emilian  Bassof,  is  like- 
wise mentioned  in  Berg's  tabular  list  of  voyages  under  date  of  1750.  'A  for- 
tunate event  which  occurred  while  I  was  engaged  in  collecting  information 
M'ith  regard  to  these  voyages,'  says  Berg,  'placed  me  in  possession  of  papers 
containing  the  names  of  owners  of  vessels  and  the  furs  shipped  on  those  occa- 


All  was  still  dark  regarding  lands  and  navigation 
eastward.  But  when  Bassof's  reports  reached  the 
imperial  senate  an  oukaz  was  forwarded  at  once  to 
the  admiralty  college  ordaining  that  any  charts  com- 
piled from  Bering's  and  Chirikof's  journals,  together 
with  their  log-books  and  other  papers,  should  be 
sent  to  the  senate  for  transmittal  to  the  governor 
general  of  Siberia.  The  admiralty  college  intrusted 
the  execution  of  this  order  to  the  eminent  hydrog- 
rapher  Admiral  Nagaief,  who  finally  compiled  a  chart 
for  the  guidance  of  hunters  and  traders  navigating 
along  the  Aleutian  Islands,*' 

Bassof  was  scarcely  back  from  his  first  voyage  and 
it  was  noised  abroad  that  he  had  been  successful,  when 
there  were  others  ready  to  follow  his  example.  A 
larger  venture  was  set  on  foot  early  in  1745,  while 
Bassof  was  still  absent  on  his  second  voyage,  under  the 
auspices  of  Lieutenant  Lebedef,  he  who  had  married 
Croyere's  widow.  While  in  command  at  Bolsheretsk 
he  issued  a  permit  for  a  voyage  to  the  newly  discov- 
ered islands,  on  the  25th  of  February,  to  the  mer- 
chants Afanassi  Chebaievskoi  of  Lalsk  and  Arkhip 
Trapeznikof  of  Irkutsk.  Their  avowed  purpose  vras 
to  hunt  sea- otters  and  make  discoveries  eastward  of 
Kamchatka,    Associated  with  them  were  Yakof  Chu- 

sions:  1st,  papers  obtained  from  Court  Counsellor  Ivan  Ossipovich  Zelonski; 
2d,  some  incomplete  data  compiled  by  myself  while  living  at  Kadiak  from 
verbal  tradition  and  private  lettei's;  3d,  letters  I  found  in  Mr  Shelikof's 
archives;  and  4th,  letters  I  received  between  the  years  1760  and  1785  from 
the  merchant  Ivan  Savicli  Lapin,  of  Solikamsk.'  The  dates  given  of  Bassof 'a 
four  voyages  are  1743,  1745,  1747,  and  1749,  Bcrcj,  KJtronol.  Istoria,  G. 

'^  Morslcoi  Sbornik,  cii,  11,  55.  The  editor  of  the  Sihirshj  Viestnih  (Sibe- 
rian Messenger),  G.  I,  Spasski,  in  1822,  devoted  four  numbers  of  his  pub- 
lication to  a  minute  description  of  Copper  Island,  accompanied  by  a  chart 
indicating  Bassof's  occupation  of  the  place,  as  on  its  northern  side  two  bays 
are  named  Bassofskaya  and  Petrofskaya  respectively,  after  Bassof  and  one  of 
his  vessels.  From  the  description  in  the  Viestnih  "it  is  evident  that  Bassof 
wintered  on  Copper  Island  in  1749,  and  obtained  most  of  his  furs  there.  A 
cross  which  was  preserved  on  the  island  for  many  j'cars,  bore  an  inscription 
to  the  effect  that  Yefim  Kuznctzof,  a  new  convert  (probably  a  Kamchatka 
native),  wasadded  to  Bassof's  command  on  the  7th  of  April  1750.  It  is  probable 
that  the  baptism  of  this  convert  took  place  on  the  island,  and  that  the  name 
of  the  man  was  added  to  Bassof's  list  only  when  he  became  a  Christian. '  Sih. 
Viestnilc,  1S22,  numbers  2  to  6,  passim.  Bassof  died  in  1754,  leaving  a 
daughter  with  whom  the  merchant,  Lapin,  one  of  Berg's  authorities,  was  per- 
sonally acquainted.  Khronol.  Istoria,  passim. 


prof,  Radion  Yatof,  Ivan  Kholchevnikof,  Pavel  Kar- 
abelnikof,  Larion  Beliaief,  Nikolai  Chuprof,  Lazar 
Karmanof,  and  Kiril  Kozlof/  They  built  a  large 
shitika  and  named  it  the  Yevdohia.  As  morekhod,  or 
navigator,  they  engaged  a  Tobolsk  peasant  named 
Mikhail  Nevodchikof,  who  had  been  with  Bering,  and 
who  was  even  credited  by  various  authors  with  the 
discovery  of  the  Aleutian  Islands.^  In  these  expedi- 
tions the  bold  promyshleniki  were  ever  the  main-stay. 
Nevodchikof  was  doubtless  aware  that  Bassof  had  col- 
lected his  furs  at  Bering  and  Copper  islands,  but  trust- 
ing to  his  memory,  or  perhaps  following  the  advice  of 
other  companions  of  Bering,  he  passed  by  these  isl- 
ands, shaping  his  course  south-east  in  search  of  the  land 
named  by  Bering  Obmannui,  or  Delusive  Islands,  The 
Yevdohia  had  sailed  from  the  mouth  of  the  Kam- 
chatka on  the  1 9th  of  September  1745,^  and  after  a  voy- 
age of  six  days  the  adventurous  promyshleniki  sighted 
the  first  of  the  Blishni  group  of  the  Aleutian  isles. 
Passing  by  the  first,  Attoo,  Nevodchikof  anchored  near 
the  second,  Agatoo,  about  noon  of  the  24th.  Next 
morning  over  a  hundred  armed  natives  assembled  on 
the  beach  and  beckoned  the  Russians  to  land,  but  it 
was  not  deemed  safe  in  view  of  their  number;  so  they 
threw  into  the  water  a  few  trifling  presents,  and  in 
return  the  natives  threw  back  some  birds  just  killed. 
On  the  26th  Chuprof  landed  with  a  few  men  armed 
with  muskets  for  water.     They  met  some  natives,  to 

^  Bolfsheretsh  Archives;  Neve  Nackr.,  9,  10. 

^  From  the  fact  that  Nevodchikof  was  called  a  peasant  we  must  not  infer 
that  he  was  an  agricultural  laborer,  but  simply  of  the  peasant  class,  one  of 
the  numerous  castes  into  which  Russian  society  was  divided.  The  so-called 
'civil  classes'  of  society  outside  of  government  officials  were  merchants, 
hiptzvi,  again  divided  into  lirst,  second,  and  third  guild;  tradesmen, 
chaninui,  and  peasants,  Jcrestlaninni;  but  many  of  the  latter  class  were 
engaged  in  trade  and  commerce.  Ivan  Lapin  told  Berg  that  he  knew  Ne- 
vodchikof personally,  and  that  he  had  served  with  Bering  on  his  voyage  to 
America  in  1741.  Nevodchikof  was  a  silversmith  from  Oustioug,  and  came 
to  Siberia  in  search  of  fortune.  Meeting  with  no  success  he  went  on  to  Kam- 
chatka, and  there  finding  himself  without  a  passport  he  was  taken  into  the 
government  service.  Lapin  was  in  possession  of  a  silver  snuffbox,  the  work 
of  Nevodchikof.  Khronol.  Istorla,  7. 

^Keue  Nachr.y  10;  Khronol.  Jst.,  7. 

^^OLI:xcE  axd  elood.  ics 

%y1ic  n.1  they  gave  tobacco  and  pipes,  and  received  a  stick 
ornamented  with  the  head  of  a  seal  carved  in  bone. 
Then  the  savages  wanted  one  of  the  muskets,  and 
when  refused  they  became  angry  and  attempted  to 
capture  the  party  by  seizing  their  boat.  Finally  Chup- 
rof  ordered  his  men  to  fire,  and  for  the  first  time  the 
thundering  echoes  of  musketry  resounded  from  the 
hills  of  Agatoo.  One  bullet  took  effect  in  the  hand 
of  a  native;  the  crimson  fluid  gushed  forth  over  the 
white  sand,  and  the  long  era  of  bloodshed,  violence, 
and  rapine  for  the  poor  Aleuts  was  begun. ^°  As  the 
natives  had  no  arms  except  bone-pointed  spears,  which 
they  vainly  endeavored  to  thrust  through  the  sides 
of  the  boat,  shedding  of  blood  might  easily  have  been 
avoided.  At  all  events  the  Russians  could  not  now^ 
winter  there,  so  they  worked  the  ship  back  to  the 
first  island,  and  anchored  for  the  night. 

The  following  morning  Chuprof,  who  seems  to  have 
come  to  the  front  as  leader,  and  one  Shevyrin,  landed 
Vv^th  several  men.  They  saw  tracks  but  encountered 
no  one.  The  ship  then  moved  slowly  along  the  coast, 
and  on  the  following  day  the  Cossack  Shekhurdin, 
with  six  men,  was  sent  ashore  for  water  and  to  recon- 
noitre. Toward  night  they  came  upon  a  party  of  five 
natives  with  their  wives  and  children,  who  immedi- 
ately abandoned  their  huts  and  ran  for  the  mountains. 
In  the  morning  Shekhurdin  boarded  the  ship,  which 
was  still  moving  along  the  shore  in  search  of  a  suit- 
able place  for  wintering,  and  returned  again  with  a 
larger  force.  On  a  bluff  facing  the  sea  they  saw  fif- 
teen savages,  one  of  whom  they  captured,  together 
with  an  old  woman  who  insisted  on  following  the 
prisoner. ^^     The  two  natives,  with  a  quantity  of  seal- 

"Wlien  the  natives  perceived  the  wound  of  their  comrade  they  threw  off 
their  garments,  carried  him  into  the  sea,  and  endeavored  to  wash  off  the 
blood.  Khronol.  Ist.,S;  Neue  Nadir.,  13.    SeeN'ativeIiacei:,vol.i.,  this  series. 

'1  'Es  gclang  ihren  auch,  ungeachtet  dor  Gegeniwehr,  welche  die  Insulaner 
mit  ihren  Knochernen  Spiessen  leisteten,  selbige  herunter  zu  jagen  nnd  einen 
davon  gefangen  zu  nehmen,  der  sogleich  aufs  Schiff  gebracht  ward.  Sie 
ergiifl'en  auch  ein  altes  Weile,  welche  sie  bis  zur  Hiitte  verfolgt  hatten,  und 
brachten  auch  diese,  mit  dcm  zugleich  erbeuteten  Seehundsfett  und  Fellen, 
Kum  Schiff,'  Neue  Nachrichten,  14,  15. 


blubber  found  in  the  hut,  were  taken  on  board  the 
Yevdohia.  A  storm  arose  shortly  after,  during  which 
the  ship  was  driven  out  to  sea  with  the  loss  of  an 
anchor  and  a  yawl. 

From  the  2d  to  the  9th  of  October  the  gale  con- 
tinued; then  they  approached  the  island  and  selected 
a  wintering-place  for  the  ship.  The  natives  were  less 
timid  than  at  first,  though  they  found  in  the  hut  the 
bodies  of  two  men  who  had  evidently  died  from 
wounds  received  during  the  scuffle  on  the  bluff.  The 
old  woman,  who  had  been  released,  returned  with 
thirty-four  of  her  people;  they  danced  and  sang  to 
the  sound  of  bladder-drums,  and  made  presents  of 
colored  cla}^  receiving  in  return  handkerchiefs,  needles, 
and  thimbles.  After  the  first  ceremonial  visit  both 
parties  separated  on  the  most  friendly  terms.  Before 
the  end  of  the  month  the  same  party  came  again 
accompanied  by  the  old  woman  and  several  children, 
and  briuOTno;-  mfts  of  sea-fowl,  seal-meat,  and  fish. 
Dancing  and  singing  were  again  nidulged  in. 

On  the  26th  of  October  Shevyrin,  Chuprof,  and 
Nevodchikof,  with  seven  men,  set  out  in  search  of 
their  new  friends  and  found  them  encamped  under  a 
cliff.  On  this  occasion  they  purchased  a  hidar,^^  with 
an  extra  covering  of  skin,  for  two  cotton  shirts.  They 
found  stone  axes  and  bone  needles  in  use  among  the 
natives,  who  seemed  to  subsist  altogether  upon  the 
flesh  of  sea-otters,  seals,  and  sea-lions,  and  upon  fish. 

The  reign  of  violence  and  bloodshed  already  inaug- 
urated on  the  island  of  Agatoo  was  quickly  established 
on  Attoo.  Two  days  prior  to  his  visit  to  the  friendly 
natives,  Chuprof,  anxious  to  acquire  a  more  minute 
knowledge  of  the  island,  sent  out  one  of  his  subordi- 
nates, Alexei  Beliaicf,  with  ten  men  to  explore.  This 
man  discovered  several  habitations  with  whose  in- 

^^  'Und  fanclen  sie  unter  einem  Felsen  {Utess),  Kauften  von  ihnen  ein 
Baidar  (ledernen  Kahn)  und  eine  Baidarenhaut,  wovor  sie  ihnen  zwey  Hemden 
gaben  und  zurukkehrten,  ohne  die  gei-ingste  Feindseligkeiterfahren  zu  liaben.' 
Neue  Nachr.,  15.  Tlie  bidar  was  an  open  skin  boat,  and  the  largest  of  the 


mates  he  managed  to  pick  a  quarrel,  in  the  course  of 
which  fifteen  of  the  islanders  were  killed. ^^  Even  the 
Cossack  Shekhurdin,  who  had  accompanied  Beliaicf, 
was  shocked  at  such  proceedings  and  went  and  told 
Chuprof,  who  said  nothing,  but  merely  sent  the 
butchering  party  more  powder  and  lead." 

These  and  like  outrages  of  the  promyshleniki  were 
not  known  in  Russia  until  after  several  years,  and  if 
they  had  been  it  would  have  made  little  difference, ^^ 
Their  efforts  were  successful;  but  we  may  easily 
believe  that  the  interval  between  December  1745  and 
the  day  when  the  Yevdokia  departed,  which  was  the 
14th  of  September  1746,  was  not  a  time  of  rejoicing 
to  the  people  of  Attoo.  To  this  day  the  cruelties 
committed  by  the  first  Russians  are  recited  by  the 
poverty-stricken  remnants  of  a  once  prosperous  and 
happy  people. 

The  return  voyage  was  not  a  fortunate  one;  for  six 
wrecks  the  heavily  laden  craft  battled  with  the  waves, 
^nd  at  last,  on  the  30th  of  October,  she  was  cast  upon 
a  rocky  coast  with  the  loss  of  nearly  all  her  valuable 
cargo.  Ignorant  as  to  their  situation  the  men  made 
their  w^ay  into  the  interior,  suffering  from  cold  and 
hunger,  but  finally  they  succeeded   in  finding  some 

"  There  ia  little  doubt  that  this  encounter  was  wilfully  provoked,  and 
the  male  natives  slaughtered  for  a  purpose.  Berg  merely  hints  that  women 
were  at  the  bottom  of  it,  but  in  the  Neue  Nachr.  it  is  distinctly  charged  thr.t 
Beliaief  caused  the  men  to  be  shot  in  ortler  to  secure  the  women.  Some  dis- 
pute about  an  iron  bolt  that  had  disappeared,  and  which  the  natives  could  or 
would  not  return,  was  seized  upon  as  an  excuse.  Berg,  Khronol.  Id.,  8,  9; 
Neue  Nachr.,  IG. 

^*In  the  Neue  Nachr.,  16,  Chuprof  is  accused  of  a  plan  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  a  number  of  natives,  by  means  of  a  porridge  seasoned  with  corrosive 

'■'>An  islander,  Temnak,  was  carried  away  to  Kamchatka  on  the  Yevdohia. 
He  claimed  to  be  a  native  of  At  (Attoo?).  In  1750  he  was  sent  to  Okhotsk 
with  Nevodchikof,  after  having  been  baptized  at  Nishekamchatsk  by  the  mis- 
sionary Osoip  Khotumzevskoi.  He  was  fitted  out  with  clothing  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  government  and  named  PaA'el  Nevodchikof,  the  pilot  having  acted 
as  his  godfather,  and  finally  adopting  him.  'Schon  am  24sten  October  hatte 
Czjuiyrotv  zehn  Mann,  unter  Anfiihrung  des  Lcirion  Beajeiv  zii  kundschaften 
ausgeschikt.  Dieser  fand  verschiedene  Ivrten  (Wohnungen),  der  Insulaner 
Und  well  er  ihnen  feindselig  begegnete  und  die  wenigen  Insulaner  sich  daher 
mit  ihren  Knochemen  Lanzen  zwi  Wehre  setzten,  so  nahm  er  daher  Gelegen- 
lieit  alle  Manner  funfzehn  an  der  Zalil  zu  erschiessen,  un  die  zwriikgebliebe- 
nen  Weiber  zur  Unzucht  gebrauchen  zu  Kcnnen.'  Neue  Nachr.,  11. 


human  habitations.  On  questioning  the  natives  they 
learned  to  their  consternation  that  they  were  not  on 
the  mainland,  but  on  the  island  of  Karaghinski  off 
the  coast  of  Kamchatka.  The  Koriaks  were  already 
tributary  to  the  Russians,  and  treated  their  visitors 
kindly  until  Beliaief  made  advances  to  the  wife  of  the 
ycssaul,  or  chief,  whose  wrath  was  with  difficulty  as- 
suaged. Finally  in  May  1747  a  descent  was  made 
on  the  island  by  an  armed  party  of  Olutor.iki,  a  war- 
like tribe  living  near  the  mouth  of  the  Olutorsk  river 
on  the  mainland.^*' 

In  a  bloody  fight  during  which  many  natives  and 

^8  The  origin  of  the  word  alent  may  perhaps  be  referred  to  these  people. 
The  first  mention  of  the  Olutorski  tribe  was  in  a  report  of  the  Cossack  Atlas- 
sof,  the  conqneror  of  Kamchatka,  in  1700.  He  states  tliat  on  the  coast  of 
Kamchatka  the  Liiitortzi  are  called  strangers  by  the  surrounding  Koriaks, 
Vihom  they  much  resembled.  Morskoi  Suonii/j,  ci.  4-73.  In  171-i  Afanassi 
retrof,  a  nobleman,  built  on  the  Olutorsk  river  an  ostrog  of  the  same  name; 
he  was  free'.y  assisted  by  the  natives.  In  the  following  year  Petrof  forvrarded 
all  the  tribute  he  had  collected,  consisting  of  1-il  bundles  of  sables,  of  40  skins 
each,  5,G40  red  foxes,  10  cross  foxes,  l.'^7  sea-otters,  two  land-otters,  and  22 
ounces  of  gold  taken  from  a  wrecked  Japanese  junk.  Subsecjueutly  the 
natives  revolted  and  killed  Petrof  and  nearly  all  his  followers.  Morskoi 
S')0)~)uk,  ci.  4-82,  296.  It  is  probable  that  when  the  Russians  first  encoun- 
tered the  natives  of  the  Aleutian  Islands,  being  already  acquainted  with  the 
Olutoi-ski,  they  applied  that  name,  pronounced  by  them  Aliutorski,  to  a  race 
that  certainly  resembles  the  latter.  On  the  whole  coast  of  Kamchatka  these 
Olutorski  were  the  only  whale-hunters,  a  pursuit  followed  also  by  Aleuts. 
Russian  authors  generally  derive  the  name  from  the  Aleut  word  aUil\  What 
dost  thou  want?  If  this  phrase  ever  Mas  in  general  use  it  has  entirely  dis- 
appeared, and  it  certainly  is  no  nearer  the  word  Aleut,  or  Aleutski,  as  the 
Russians  pronounce  it,  than  is  Olutorski.  Choris,  pt.  vii.  12.  Engel,  in  Geo- 
ijrapliinche  mid  Kritl-<che  Nachrlchten,  i.  v.  6,  7;  vi.-vii.,  lefers  to  an  article 
in  the  Leydatar  Zeltuiiu,  Feb.  26,  1765,  where  it  is  siid  that  'the  traders 
from  the  Kovima  (Kolima),  sailed  out  of  that  liver  and  were  fortunate 
enough  to  double  the  cape  of  the  Chukchi  in  latitude  74^;  they  then  sailed 
southward  and  discovered  some  islands  in  latitude  04°,  v.-here  they  traded 
with  the  natives  and  obtained  some  tine  black  foxes  of  which  some  speci- 
mens were  sent  to  the  empress  as  a  present.  They  named  those  islands 
Alcyut,  and  I  think  that  some  of  them  adjoined  America.'  Engel  then 
goes  on  to  say:  'These  sailors  called  th^se  islands  "Aleyut;"  the  word  seema 
to  me  to  be  somewhat  mutilated.  JJuller  says  that  the  island  situated 
half  a  day's  journey  from  Chukchi  land,  is  inhabited  by  people  named  Ak- 
hyukh-Alial,  and  it  appears  that  these  traders  actually  come  to  this  island, 
or  perhaps  to  another  one  also  situated  in  that  neighborhood,  the  people  of 
which  Muller  calls  Peckale ;  he  also  speaks  of  a  great  country  lying  farther 
to  the  east  named  Kitchin  Aliat.  I  believe,  therefore,  that  the  said  Aleyut 
is  nothing  but  the  Aliat  or  Aeliat  which  forms  the  ending  of  both  of  the  above- 
mentioned  names.'  It  is  evident  that  Engel  confounds  the  voyages  of  the 
promyshleniki  to  the  Aleutian  Islands  with  the  discovery  of  the  Diomede 
Islands  in  Bering  Straits.  The  Kitchin  Aliat  may  bear  some  relation  to 
either  the  Kutchin  tribes  of  the  American  coast  or  more  probably  to  the 
luuuit  or  Eskimos. 


several  Russians  were  killed,  the  invaders  were  de- 
feated, and  as  they  left  the  island  the  Olutorski  declared 
their  intention  to  return  with  reenforcements  and  to 
exterminate  the  Russians  and  all  who  paid  tribute  to 
them.  The  prom^'shleniki  were  anxious  to  be  off, 
and  the  islanders  freely  assisted  them  in  constructing 
two  large  bidars.  On  the  27th  of  June  they  departed, 
and  arrived  at  the  ostrog  of  Nishekamchatsk  on  the 
21st  of  July  with  a  little  over  three  hundred  sea- 
otter  skins,  the  remnant  of  the  valuable  cargo  of  the 

Immediately  upon  receiving  information  of  the  dis- 
covery of  the  Aleutian  isles,  Elizabeth  issued  as  pecial 
oukaz  appointing  Nevodchikof  to  their  oversight  with 
the  rank  of  a  master  in  the  imperial  navy,  in  which 
capacity  he  was  retained  in  the  government  service 
at  Okhotsk.  In  accordance  with  the  old  laws  which 
exacted  tribute  from  all  savage  tribes,  Cossacks  were 
to  be  detailed  to  make  collections  during  the  expedi- 
tion that  might  be  sent  forth. 

Meanwhile  the  several  reports,  and  the  rich  cargoes 
brought  back  by  Bassof's  vessels,  had  roused  the 
merchants  of  Siberia. ^^  In  1746  the  Moscow  mer- 
chant Andrei  Rybenskoi,  through  his  agent,  Andrei 

^^  Some  discrepancy  exists  in  our  authorities  witli  regard  to  dates  and  de- 
tails of  the  latter  part  of  this  expedition.  Berg  briefly  states  that  Nevodchikof 
sailed  from  Attoo  Sept.  14,  174G,  and  that  his  vessel  was  wrecked  the  30th 
of  Oct.  on  an  island,  where  he  was  obliged  to  pass  the  winter.  Klironol.  1st., 
10,  11.  A  few  lines  farther  on  we  are  told  that  the  party  returned  to  Kam- 
chatka in  July  1746,  with  300  sea-otters  and  with  but  a  small  portion  of  the 
original  crew,  having  lost  52  men  on  the  voyage.  The  same  author  states 
that  on  the  strength  of  a  report  of  the  outrages  committed  upon  natives,  pre- 
sented by  the  Cossack  Shekhurdin,  all  the  survivors  were  subjected  to  legal 
process.  To  add  to  the  coniusion  of  dates  and  data,  Eerg  subsequently  tells 
us  that  the  value  of  the  cargo  brought  back  to  Kamchatka  by  Nevodchikof 
was  19,200  rubles  (much  more  than  3C0  sea-otters  would  bring  at  that  time), 
and  that  the  Ycvdolcia  was  wrecked  in  1754!  Khrovol.  1st.,  11,  12.  In  the 
Neue  Nachr.,  17,  18,  the  dates  are  less  conflicting,  and  we  are  informed  that 
Nevodchikof  's  party  returned  in  two  bidars  with  320  sea-otters,  of  which  they 
paid  one  tenth  into  the  imperial  treasury.  The  number  of  lives  lost  during 
the  voyage  is  here  placed  at  only  12  Russians  and  natives  of  Kamchatka. 

^^  Making  due  allowance  for  the  low  prices  of  furs  at  that  time,  and  the 
comparatively  high  value  of  money,  Bassof  's  importations  cannot  be  consid- 
ered over-estimated  at  half  a  million  dollars.  Btrcj,  Khronol.  1st.,  11. 


Vsevldof,  also  Feoclor  Kholodilof  of  Totemsk,  Nikofor 
Trapeznikof,  and  Vassili  Balin  of  Irkutsk,  Kosma 
Nerstof  of  Totma,  Mikhail  Nikilinicli  of  Novo  Yaiisk, 
and  Feodor  Shiikof  of  Yaroslavl/^  petitioned  the  com- 
mander of  Bolsheretsk  for  permission  to  hunt,  and  two 
vessels  were  fitted  out.  The  navigator  selected  for 
I'lholodilof's  vessel  was  Andrei  Tolstjdih,  a  merchant 
of  the  town  of  Selengisk,  who  was  destined  to  play  a 
prominent  part  in  the  gradual  discovery  of  the  Aleu- 
tian chain.  The  two  vessels  sailed  from  the  Kam- 
chatka River  within  a  few  days  of  each  other.  One, 
the  Su  loann,  commanded  by  Tolstykh,  sailed  the 
20th  of  August  manned  by  forty-six  jDromyshleniki 
and  six  Cossacks.  They  reached  Bering,  or  Com- 
mander, Island,  and  wintered  there  in  accordance  with 
the  wishes  of  Shukof,  Nerstof,  and  otlier  shareholders 
in  the  enterprise.  After  a  moderately  successful  hunt- 
ing season  Tolstykh  put  to  sea  once  more  on  the  31st 
of  May  1747.  He  shaped  his  course  to  the  south  in 
search  of  the  island  reported  by  Steller  on  June  21, 
1741.20  J'ailing  in  this  he  changed  his  course  to  the 
northward,  and  finally  came  to  anchor  in  the  road- 
stead of  Nishekamchatsk  on  the  14th  of  August. 
During  the  voyage  he  had  collected  683  sea-otters 
and  1,481  blue  foxes,  and  all  from  Bering  Island. 
Vsevidof  sailed  from  Kamchatka  the  26th  of  August 
1746,  and  returned  the  25th  of  July  1749,  with  a 
cargo  of  over  a  thousand  sea-otters  and  more  than 
two  thousand  blue  foxes.^^ 

^^Nem  Narhr.,  18,  19;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  11,  12.  These  merchants  de- 
sired to  build  two  vessels  at  their  own  expense  '  to  go  in  pursuit  of  marine 
animals  during  the  following  year;'  they  also  asked  for  permission  to  employ 
native  Kainchatkans  and  Russian  mariners  and  hunters,  and  to  make  tempo- 
rary use  of  some  nautical  instruments  saved  from  a  wreck.  Neue  Nachr.,  20. 
This  Trapeznikof  was  evidently  the  same  who  was  in  partnership  with  Bassof 
the  preceding  year. 

'^■'StcUer's  Journal,  1.  47. 

^^  Bcr'j,  Khronol.  fd.,  app.  It  is  probable  that  Vsevidof  passed  the  winter 
following  his  departure  on  Copper  Island,  as  on  the  earliest  charts  a  bay  on 
the  north-eastern  side  of  that  island  is  named  Vsevidof 's  Harbor.  In  a  descrip- 
tion of  Copper  Island,  published  in  the  Slhlrsli  Viestni!:,  it  is  stated  that  on 
the  2d  of  March  1747  two  promyshleniki  named  Yurlof  and  Vtoruikh  fell 
from   a  cliff  and   died   of  tlieir  injuries,     Tliese  men  could   only  have  be- 


About  this  time  a  voyage  was  accomplished  over 
an  entirely  new  route.  Three  traders  in  the  north, 
Ivan  Shilkin  of  Solvichegodsk,  Afanassi  Bakof  of 
Oustioug,  and  one  Novikof  of  Irkutsk,  built  a  vessel 
on  the  banks  of  the  Anadir  Kiver  and  called  it  Pro- 
Izoj)  i  ZancU^  They  succeeded  in  making  their  way 
down  the  river  and  through  the  Onemenskoi  mouth 
into  the  gulf  of  Anadir.  From  the  10th  of  July  1747 
to  the  15th  of  September  these  daring  navigators 
battled  with  contrary  winds  and  currents  along  the 
coast,  and  finally  came  to  anchor  on  the  coast  of  Be- 
ring Island.  On  the  30th  of  October,  when  nearly  the 
whole  crew  was  scattered  over  the  island  hunting  and 
trapping  and  gathering  fuel,  a  storm  arose  and  threw 
the  vessel  upon  a  rocky  reef,  where  she  was  soon  demol- 
ished. Bethinking  themselves  of  Bering's  ship,  with 
remnants  of  that  and  of  their  own,  and  some  large 
sticks  of  drift-wood,  the  castaways  built  a  boat  about 
fifty  feet  long.  In  this  cockle-shell,  which  was  named 
the  KajDiton,  they  put  to  sea  the  following  summer. 
Despite  their  misfortune  the  spirit  of  adventure  was 
not  quenched,  and  the  promyshleniki  boldly  steered 
north-eastward  in  search  of  new  discoveries.  They 
obtained  a  distant  view  of  land  in  that  direction,  and 
almost  reached  the  continent  of  America,  but  the 
land  disappeared  in  the  fog,  and  they  returned  to 
Commander  Islands.  After  a  brief  trip  to  Copper 
Island  they  reached  the  coast  of  Kamchatka  in  Au- 
gust 1749.'=^ 

longed  to  Vsevidof's  vessel.  Berg  says  that  Ivan  Rybinskoi  of  Moscow  and 
Stephen  Tyrin  of  Yaroslaf  in  1747  despatched  a  vessel  named  loann,  which 
sailed  foi'  the  nearest  Aleutian  Islands  and  returned  in  1749  with  1,000  sea- 
otters  and  2,000  blue  foxes,  the  cargo  being  sold  for  52,590  rubles,  which  is 
but  another  account  of  Vsevidof's  voyage.   Khronoi.  Int.,  14. 

•'^  Berg,  Khronoi.  1st.,  16.  This  name  is  given  in  the  Russian  edition  of 
Berg,  Perkiip  i  Zant.  The  latter  will  be  remembered  as  one  of  the  sailors 
with  Bering's  expedition,  and  the  former  is  a  common  Russian  name.  The 
men  of  that  name  were  probably  employed  to  build  the  vessel. 

^3  The  cargo  of  the  Kapiton  was  valued  only  at  4,780  rubles,  and  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  understand  how  they  could  carry  furs  representing  even  this  small 
value  in  a  vessel  of  that  size.  On  account  of  the  rigging,  artillery,  and  ship's 
stores  of  various  kinds  left  by  Bering's  companions  on  the  island  named  after 
him,  an  order  had  been  issued  from  Okhotsk  prohibiting  traders  from  landing 


The  first  effort  to  obtain  a  monopoly  of  traffic  with 
the  newly  discovered  islands  was  made  in  February 
1748,  by  an  Irkutsk  merchant  named  Emihan  Yugof, 
who  obtained  from  the  senate  for  himself  and  partners^* 
an  oukaz  granting  permission  to  fit  out  four  vessels 
for  voyages  to  the  islands  "in  the  sea  of  Kamchatka," 
with  the  privilege  that  during  their  absence  no  other 
parties  should  be  allowed  to  equip  vessels  in  pursuit 
of  sea-otters.  In  consideration  of  this  privilege  Yugof  s 
company  agreed  to  pay  into  the  imperial  treasury  one 
third  of  the  furs  collected.  A  special  order  to  this 
effect  was  issued  to  Captain  Lebedef,  the  commander 
of  Kamchatka,  from  the  provincial  chancellery  at  Ir- 
kutsk under  date  of  July  1748.  Yugof  himself,  how- 
ever, did  not  arrive  at  Bolsheretsk  till  November  1 749, 
and  instead  of  four  ships  he  had  but  one  small  vessel 
ready  to  sail  by  the  6th  of  October  1750.  This  boat, 
named  the  Sv  loann,  with  a  crew  of  twenty-five  men 
and  two  Cossacks,  was  wrecked  before  leaving  the  coast 
of  Kamchatka.  Over  a  jesiv  passed  by  before  Yugof 
was  ready  to  sail  again.  He  liad  received  permission 
to  employ  naval  officers,  but  his  associates  were  un- 
willing to  furnish  money  enough  for  an  expedition  on 
a  large  scale.  The  second  ship,  also  named  the  Sv 
loann,  sailed  in  October  1751.  For  three  years  noth- 
ing was  heard  of  this  expedition,  and  upon  the  state- 
ment of  the  commander  of  Okhotsk  that  the  instructions 
of  the  government  had  been  disregarded  by  the  firm, 
an  order  was  issued  from  Irkutsk,  in  1753,  for  the  con- 
fiscation of  Yugof's  property  on  his  return."^    Captain 

there  until  the  government  property  could  be  disposed  of.  The  craft  con- 
structed by  Bassof  and  Serebrennikof  was  consequently  seized  by  the  govern- 
ment authorities  immediately  after  entering  poit.  The  conliscated  vessel  was 
snbsecjuently  delivered  to  the  merchant  Ivan  Shilkin,  with  permission  to 
make  liunting  and  exploring  voyages  to  the  eastern  islands.  NcncNachr.,  30. 
The  prohilntory  order  concerning  Bering  Island  was  disregarded  altogether 
by  the  promyshleniki,  who  made  a  constant  practice  of  landing  and  wintering 
there.  Benj,  Khronol.  Int.,  10. 

'•"  These  were  Ignatiy  Ivanof  and  Matvei  Shchorbakof  of  St  Petersburg, 
and  Petr  Maltzof,  Arkhip  Trapeznikof,  Feodor  Solovief,  and  Dmitri  Yagof 
of  Irkutsk.  Neue  Nadir.,  20. 

'^'^  Kamchatka  Archives,  17iJ4. 


Chereclof,  who  had  succeeded  Captain  Lebedcf  in  the 
command  of  Kamchatka,  was  at  the  same  time  author- 
ized to  accept  similar  proposals  from  other  firms,  but 
none  were  made.  On  the  22d  of  July  1754,  the  Sv 
loann  unexpectedly  sailed  into  the  harbor  of  Nishe- 
kamchatsk  with  a  rich  cargo  which  was  at  once  placed 
under  seal  by  the  government  officials.  The  leader  of 
the  expedition  did  not  return,  but  the  mate  Grigor 
Nizovtzof  presented  a  written  report  to  the  effect  that 
the  whole  cargo  had  been  obtained  from  Bering  and 
Copper  islands,  and  that  Yugof  had  died  at  the  latter 
place.  The  cargo  consisted  of  790  sea-otters,  7,044 
blue  foxes,  2,212  fur-seals.^'' 

It  is  evident  that  the  authorities  of  Bolsheretsk  did 
not  consider  this  first  monopoly  to  extend  beyond 
Bering  and  Copper  islands,  as  even  before  Yugof 
sailed  other  companies  were  granted  permission  to  fit 
out  sea-otter  hunting  expeditions  to  "such  islands  as 
had  not  yet  been  made  tributary."  Andrei  Tolstykh, 
who  had  served  as  navigator  under  Kholodilof,  obtained 
permission  from  the  chancellery  of  Bolsheretsk  to  fit 
out  a  vessel,  and  sailed  on  the  19th  of  August  1749, 
arriving  at  Bering  Island  the  6th  of  September.  Here 
he  wintered,  securing,  however,  only  47  sea-otters, 
and  in  May  of  the  following  year  he  proceeded  to  the 
Aleutian  Islands,  first  visited  by  Ncvodchikof.  Here 
he  met  with  better  luck,  and  finally  returned  to  Kam- 
chatka the  3d  of  July  1752,  with  a  cargo  of  1,772  sea- 
otters,  750  blue  foxes,  and  840  fur-seals.^' 

The  enterprising  merchant  Nikofor  Trapeznikof  of 

*®  The  furs  were  subsequently  released  on  the  payment  of  the  stipulated 
one  third.  Keiie  Nackr.,  33. 

'^  Tolstykh  reported  that  he  came  to  an  island  the  inhabitants  of  which 
had  not  previously  paid  tribute;  they  seemed  to  be  of  Chukchi  extraction,  as 
they  tattooed  their  faces  in  a  similar  manner  and  also  wore  labrcts  or  orna- 
ments of  walrus  ivory  in  their  cheeks.  According  to  his  statement  these 
'Aleuts'  had  killed  two  natives  of  Kamchatka  without  the  least  provocation. 
On  another  island  the  natives  voluntarily  paid  tribute  in  sea-otter  skins.  Neiie 
Nachr.,  26.  It  is  difficult  to  determine  from  this  report  which  island  Tolstykh 
visited;  the  description  of  the  natives  would  point  to  St  Lawrence  Island, 
but  tlie  tribute  paid  in  sea-otter-skins  can  only  have  come  from  the  Aleutian 
chain.  Probably  he  had  sailed  to  the  northward  first  and  then  changed  his 
course  to  the  Aleutian  Islands.    See  Native  liuces,  vol.  i.  this  seiies. 


Irkutsk  also  received  permission  to  sail  for  the  Aleu- 
tian Islands  in  1749  under  promise  of  delivering  to 
the  government  not  only  the  tribute  collected  from 
the  natives,  but  one  tenth  of  the  furs  obtained.  Tra- 
peznikof  built  a  ship,  named  it  the  Boris  i  Gleb,  and 
sailed  in  August.  He  passed  four  winters  on  vari- 
ous islands,  returning  in  1753  with  a  cargo  valued  at 
105,736  rubles.  The  Cossack  Sila  Shevyrin  acted 
as  tribute-gatherer  on  this  adventure.^^  During  the 
same  year,  1749,  the  merchants  Rybinskoi  and  Tyrin 
sent  out  the  shitika  Sv  loann  to  the  Near  Islands,  the 
vessel  returnino^  in  Aus^ust  1752  with  700  sea-otters 
and  700  blue  foxes. ^^ 

Late  in  1749  Shilkin  built  the  Sv  Simeon  i  Anna 
and  manned  her  with  fourteen  Russians  and  twenty 
natives  of  Kamchatka.  The  Cossack  Alexei  Vorobief, 
or  Morolief,  served  as  navigator;  Cossacks  Ivan  Mi- 
nukhin  and  Alexei  Baginef  accompanied  the  ship  as 
tribute-gatherers.  They  left  the  coast  of  Kamchatka 
the  5th  of  August  1750,  but  after  sailing  eastw^ard 
two  weeks  the  vessel  was  wrecked  on  a  small  un- 
known island.  Here  the  party  remained  till  the  fol- 
lowing autumn,  during  wliich  time  Vorobief  succeeded 
in  constructing  a  small  craft  out  of  the  wreck  and 
drift-wood.  This  vessel  was  named  the  Ycremy  and 
carried  the  castaways  to  Kamchatka  in  the  autumn 
of  1752,  with  a  cargo  of  820  sea-otters,  1,900  blue 
foxes,  and  7,000  fur-seals,  all  collected  on  the  island 
upon  which  they  were  wrecked.^" 

*^  It  seems  that  the  island  of  Atkha  was  first  discovered  during  the  voyage 
of  Trapeznikof.  Cook  and  La  Purouse  call  it  Atghha,  and  Holmberg  I  Acha. 
t'arlofj.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  470.  Shevyrin  acknowledged  that  he  had  re- 
ceived tribute  to  the  amount  of  one  sea-otter  each  from  the  following  natives : 
Igja,  Oeknu,  Ogogoetakh,  Shalukiankh,  Alak,  Tukun,  Ononushan,  Kotog- 
sioga,  Oonashayupu,  Lak,  Yoreshugilaik,  Ungalikan,  Shati,  and  Chyipaks. 
Bolfihcretfik  Archives,  1754;  -Neut:  Nadir.  24-5;  Berfj,  Khronol.  fst.,  18. 

'■''She  was  a  lucky  craft,  making  continuous  voyages  till  176.3,  and  bring- 
ing over  5,000  sea-otters  from  the  islands.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  18,  19. 

^^  Neiie  Nadir.,  19.  Berg  states  that  the  Simeon  i  Anna  carried  a  crew 
of  14  Russian  and  30  natives  of  Kamchatka,  and  that  the  party  returned  with 
1,980  sea-otters,  collected  on  one  of  the  small  islands  adjoining  Bering  Island. 
Khronol.  1st. ,  24.  The  fact  that  fur-seals  formed  a  part  of  the  cargo  would 
confirm  the  assumption  that  the  locality  of  the  wreck  was  one  of  the  group 
of  the  Commander  Islands. 


By  this  time  the  merchants  of  Siberia  and  Kam- 
chatka had  gathered  confidence  regarding  the  traffic, 
and  ship-building  became  the  order  of  the  day.  Un- 
fortunately, even  the  first  principles  of  naval  archi- 
tecture were  ill  understood  at  Kamchatka,  and  so  late 
as  1760  the  promyshleniki  made  exceeding  dangerous 
voyages  in  most  ridiculous  vessels — flatboats,  shi- 
tikas,  and  similar  craft,  usually  built  without  iron 
and  often  so  weak  as  to  fall  to  pieces  in  the  first  gale 
that  struck  them.  As  long  as  the  weather  was  calm 
or  nearly  so,  they  might  live,  but  let  a  storm  catch 
them  any  distance  from  land  and  they  must  sink.  We 
should  naturally  suppose  that  even  in  these  reckless, 
thoughtless  promyshleniki,  common  instinct  would 
prompt  greater  care  of  life,  but  they  seemed  to  flock 
like  sheep  to  the  slaughter.  We  must  say  for  them 
that  in  this  folly  their  courage  was  undaunted,  and 
their  patience  under  privations  and  suffering  mar- 
vellous.    Despotism  has  its  uses. 

He  who  would  adventure  here  in  those  days  must 
first  collect  the  men.  Then  from  the  poor  resources 
at  hand  he  would  select  the  material  for  his  vessel, 
which  was  usually  built  of  green  timber  just  from  the 
forest,  and  with  no  tool  but  the  axe,  the  constant  com- 
panion of  every  Russian  laborer  or  hunter.  Rope  for 
the  rigging  and  cables  it  was  necessary  to  transport 
on  pack-horses  from  Irkutsk,  whence  they  generally 
arrived  in  a  damaged  condition,  the  long  hawsers  being- 
cut  into  many  pieces  on  account  of  their  weight. 
Flour,  meat,  and  other  provisions  were  purchased  at 
Kirensk  and  Yakutsk  at  exorbitant  prices.  In  such 
crazy  craft  the  promyshleniki  were  obliged  to  brave 
the  stormy  waters  of  the  Okhotsk  Sea  and  navigate 
along  the  chain  of  sunken  rocks  that  lined  the  coast 
of  Kamchatka.^^ 

'1  Miiller  says  the  price  of  iron  in  Okhotsk  in  1746  was  half  a  ruble,  or 
about  40  cents,  a  pound.  Voy.,  i.  82.  The  crews  were  obtained  in  the  follow- 
ing manner:  The  merchant  would  notify  his  agent,  or  correspondent,  living  at 
Irkutsk,  Yakutsk,  or  Kirensk,  who  would  engage  hunters  and  laborers;  each 
agent  hiring  a  few  men,  providing  them  with  clothing,  and  sending  them  to 
Hist.  Alaska.    8 


Nikofor  Trapeznikof  had  been  very  fortunate  in  his 
first  venture  with  the  Boris  i  Gleb,  and  therefore 
concluded  to  continue.  In  1752  he  sent  out  the  same 
vessel  in  command  of  Alexei  Drushinnin,  a  merchant 
of  Kursk.  This  navigator  shaped  his  course  for  Ber- 
ing Island,  but  wrecked  his  vessel  on  a  sunken  rock 
when  approaching  his  destination.  No  lives  were  lost 
and  enough  of  the  wreck  was  saved  to  construct 
another  craft  of  somewhat  smaller  dimensions,  which 
they  named  the  Abram.  In  this  vessel  they  set 
out  once  more  in  1754,  but  after  a  few  days'  cruising 
in  the  immediate  vicinity  another  shipwreck  confined 
them  again  to  the  same  island  in  a  worse  predicament 
than  before. 

Meanwhile  Trapeznikof  had  fitted  out  another 
shitika,  the  Sv  Nikolai,  with  the  Cossack  Radion 
Durnef  as  commander,  and  the  Cossack  Shevyrin 
as  tribute-gatherer.  Durnef  called  at  Bering  Island 
and  took  from  there  the  greater  part  of  the  crew 
of  the  Boris  i  Gleh,  leaving  four  men  in  charge  of 
surplus  stores  and  the  wreck  of  the  Abram.  The 
Sv  Nikolai  proceeded  eastward  and  made  several 
new  discoveries.  Durnef  s  party  passed  two  winters 
on  some  island  not  previously  known  to  the  promy- 
shleniki,  and  finally  they  returned  to  Kamchatka  in 
1757   with  a  cargo  valued  at  187,268  rubles.     This 

Okhotsk.  There  they  were  first  employed  in  building  and  equipping  the 
ship;  and  we  may  imagine  what  kind  of  ship-carpenters  and  sailors  tliey 
made.  There  was  one  benefit  attending  this  method,  however;  as  these  men 
had  never  seen  a  ship  or  the  ocean  they  could  not  realize  the  danger  of  com- 
mitting their  lives  to  such  vessels,  though  the  navigators  could  not  have  been 
ignorant  of  the  risk  to  their  own  lives.  Before  sailing,  an  agreement  with  the 
list  of  shares  was  drawn  up  and  duly  entered  in  the  hook.  This  each  signed 
or  affixed  his  mark  thereto.  For  example:  If  the  vessel  carried  a  crew  of  40 
men,  including  the  navigator  and  the  2>ei'cdovchik,  or  leader  of  hunters,  acting 
also  as  ship's  clerk,  the  whole  cargo,  on  the  return  of  the  vessel,  was  divided 
into  two  equal  shares,  one  half  going  to  the  owners,  and  the  other  half  being 
again  divided  into  45,  46,  or  pei'haps  48  shares,  of  which  each  member  of  the 
snip's  company  received  one,  while  of  the  additional  five  or  six  shares  three 
went  to  the  navigator,  two  to  the  peredovchick,  and  one  or  two  to  the  church. 
It  sometimes  happened  that  at  the  end  of  a  fortunate  voyage  the  share  of 
each  hunter  amounted  to  between  2,000  and  3,000  rubles;  but  when  the 
voyages  were  unsuccessful  the  unfortunate  fellows  were  kept  in  perpetual 
indebtedness  to  their  employer. 


was  the  most  successful  venture  of  the  kind  under- 
taken since  the  first  cUscovery  of  the  island.^' 

In  1753  three  vessels  were  despatched  from 
Okhotsk,  the  respective  owners  of  which  were  An- 
drei Serebrennikof  of  Moscow,  Feodor  Kholodilof  of 
Tomsk,  and  Simeon  Krassilnikof  of  Tula.  They  ex- 
pressed their  intention  to  search  for  the  Great  Land, 
as  the  American  continent  was  then  called  by  these 
people.  Serebrennikof's  vessel  was  commanded  by 
Petr  Bashnakof,  assisted  by  the  Cossack  Maxim 
Lazaref,  as  tribute-collector,  and  carried  a  crew  of 
thirty-four  promyshleniki.  Serebrennikof  sailed  in 
July  1753,  shaping  his  course  directly  east  from 
Kamchatka,  and  arrived  at  some  unknown  islands 
without  touching  any  of  those  already  discovered. 
The  ship  was  anchored  in  an  open  bight  not  far  from 
shore,  when  an  easterly  gale  carried  it  out  to  sea. 
During  the  storm  four  other  islands  were  sighted,  but 
as  no  one  on  board  was  able  to  make  astronomical 
observations  the  land  could  not  be  located  definitely 
on  the  chart.^^  For  some  time  the  heavy  sea  pre- 
vented the  navio^ators  from  landins^,  and  the  wind  car- 
ried  them  still  farther  to  the  east.  At  last  three 
islands  suddenly  appeared  through  the  fog,  and  before 
the  sails  could  be  lowered  the  ship  was  thrown  upon 
one  of  them.  When  the  mariners  reached  the  shore 
they  were  met  by  armed  natives,  who  threw  spears 
and  arrows  at  them.  A  few  discharges  of  fire-arms, 
however,  soon  scattered  the  savages.^* 

The  wrecked  hunters  remained  on  the  island  till 

^^  Neue  Nachr.,  31.  The  cargo  was  itemized  as  follows:  2,295  sea-otters 
killed  by  the  ship's  company,  and  732  sea-otters  purchased  of  the  natives  for 
articles  of  trifling  value,  making  a  formidable  total  of  3,027  sea-otters.  The 
immense  quantity  of  these  animals  killed  by  the  promyshleniki  themselves, 
is  proof  that  the  islands  upon  which  they  wintered  had  not  been  visited  before. 

^^  Neue  Nachr.,  Z5-Q. 

^*  According  to  Bashnakof  this  island  was  70  versts  in  length  and  sur- 
rounded by  12  smaller  islands.  This  description  is  applicable  to  the  island 
of  Tanaga,  and  on  the  strength  of  this  circumstance  Count  Benyovski,  the 
Kamchatkan  conspirator,  ascribes  the  discovery  of  the  eastern  Aleutian  or 
Fox  Islands  to  Serebrennikof,  one  of  the  owners  of  the  ship.  Benyovskis 
Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  83. 


June  1754,  and  then  sailed  for  Kamchatka  in  a  small 
boat  built  out  of  the  remains  of  the  other.  The  carga 
landed  at  Nishekamchatsk  was  of  too  little  value  to 
be  registered  in  the  official  lists  of  shipments.^^ 

Kholodilof's  vessel  sailed  from  Kamchatka  in 
August  1753,  and  according  to  the  custom  generally 
adopted  by  the  promyshleniki  was  hauled  up  on 
Bering  Island  for  the  winter,  in  order  to  lay  in  a 
supply  of  sea-cow  meat.  Nine  men  were  lost  here 
by  the  upsetting  of  the  bidar,  and  in  June  of  the 
following  year  the  voyage  was  continued.  A  serious 
leak  was  discovered  when  running  before  a  westerly 
gale,  but  an  island  was  reached  just  in  time  to  save 
the  crew.  There  they  remained  till  July  1755.^^  This 
expedition  returned  to  Kamchatka  late  in  1755  with 
a  cargo  of  sixteen  hundred  sea-otter  skins. 

The  vessel  fitted  out  by  Krassilnikof  did  not  sail 
until  the  summer  of  1754,  immediately  after  Captain 
Nilof  assumed  command  of  the  military  force  at 
Okhotsk,  and  temporary  command  of  the  district,^^ 
Bering  Island  was  reached  in  October,  and  after  lay- 
ing in  a  stock  of  sea-cow  meat  and  preparing  the 
vessel,  Krassilnikof  set  out  once  more  in  August  of 
the  following  year.  A  stormy  passage  brought  him 
to  an  island  that  seemed  densely  populated,  but  he 
did  not  deem  it  safe  to  land  there;  so  he  faced  the 
sea  again,  was  tossed  about  by  storms  for  weeks  and 
carried  to  the  westward  until  at  last  Copper  Island 
came  in  sight  again,  on  which  a  few  days  later  the 
ship  was  totally  wrecked. ^^     The  crew  was  saved  and 

•^^Bashnakof  was  wrecked  again  in  1764,  when  Tolstykh  picked  him  up  on 
Attoo  Island.  ^<)!oo,  the  westernmost  of  the  Aleutian  Islands.  Holmberg, 
1854,  writes  Attn,  and  near  it  another  /  Agattv.  Carlog.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii. 
482;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  25-7;  Neue  Nachr.,  35-6. 

^^  This  was  the  island  previously  visited  by  Trapeznikof.  In  the  spring, 
before  Kholodilof's  party  sailed,  they  were  joined  by  a  Koriak  and  a  native 
of  Kamchatka,  who  stated  that  they  had  deserted  from  Trapeznikof 's  ship, 
intending  to  live  among  the  natives.  There  had  been  six  deserters  originally, 
but  four  had  been  killed  by  the  natives  for  trying  to  force  their  wives.  The 
other  two  had  been  more  cautious,  and  were  provided  with  wives  by  their 
hosts,  and  well  treated.  Neue  Nachr.,  54;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  21. 

^'' Morskoi  Sbornik,  cv.  11,40. 

^^  Neue  Nachr.,  37-8. 


a,  small  quantity  of  provisions  stored  in  a  rudely  con- 
structed magazine.  The  ship's  company  was  then 
divided  into  several  small  hunting  parties,  five-  men 
remaining  near  the  scene  of  the  wreck  to  guard  the 
provisions.  Three  of  the  men  were  drowned  on  the 
15th  of  October. ^^  And  as  a  crowning  disaster  a 
tidal  wave  destroyed  their  storehouse,  carrying  all 
that  remained  of  their  provisions  into  the  sea.  After 
a.  winter  passed  in  misery  they  packed  up  their  furs 
in  the  spring,  a  poor  lot,  consisting  of  150  sea-otters 
and  1,300  blue  foxes,  and  managed  to  make  the  cross- 
ing to  Bering  Island  in  two  bidars,  which  they  had 
constructed  of  sea-lion  skins.  From  Bering  Island  a 
portion  of  the  company  returned  to  Kamchatka  in 
the  small  boat  Ahram,  built  by  Trapeznikof's  men."*^ 
In  1756  the  merchants  Trapeznikof,  Shukof,  and 
Palin  fitted  out  a  vessel  and  engaged  as  its  com- 
mander the  most  famous  navigator  of  the  time, 
Andrei  Tolstykh.  The  ship  was  named  after  the  com- 
mander and  his  wife,  who  accompanied  him,  Andreicm  i 
Natalia,  almost  the  first  departure  from  the  estab- 
lished custom  of  bestowing  saint's  names  upon  ships. 
Tolstykh  sailed  from  the  Kamchatka  Biver  in  Sep- 
tember, with  a  crew  of  thirty-eight  Bussians  and 
natives  of  Kamchatka,  and  the  Cossack  Venediet 
Obiukhof  as  tribute-collector.  The  usual  halt  for  the 
winter  was  made  on  Bering  Island,  but  though  an 
ample  supply  of  meat  was  obtained  not  a  single  sea- 
otter  could  be  found.  Fifteen  years  from  the  first 
discovery  of  the  island  had  sufficed  to  exterminate 
the  animal.  Nine  men  of  the  Krassilnikof  expedi- 
tion were  here  added  to  the  crew,  and  in  June  1757 
Tolstykh  continued  his  voyage,  reaching  the  nearest 
Aleutian  island  in  eleven  days.     They  arrived  at  a 

'^^Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  29. 

^'^  Finding  that  the  Ahram  could  not  carry  tne  whole  cargo  of  furs  and 
crew,  12  men  were  selected  from  the  ship's  company  to  return  on  that  small 
vessel,  while  1 1  others  Avere  taken  away  by  the  ships  of  Serebrennikof  and 
Tolstykh.  Two  were  engaged  by  the  trader  Shilkin  for  another  voyage  of 
discovery.  Neue  Nachr. ,  39-40. 


favorable  moment;  Trapeznikof's  ship,  the  Sv  NiJcolcd^ 
was  on  the  point  of  saihng  for  Kamchatka  and  sev- 
eral chiefs  had  assembled  to  bid  their  visitors  farewell. 
Satisfactory  arranc^ements  were  at  once  entered  into 
for  the  collection  of  tribute  and  a  continuation  of 
peaceful  intercourse.  The  most  influential  chief,  named 
Tunulgasan,  was  received  with  due  solemnity  and  pre- 
sented with  a  copper  kettle  and  a  full  suit  of  clothes 
of  Russian  pattern.  This  magnificent  gift  induced 
him  to  leave  several  boys  in  charge  of  the  Russians, 
for  the  avowed  purpose  of  learning  their  language^ 
but  really  to  serve  as  hostages. 

In  accordance  with  instructions  from  the  Okhotsk 
authorities  Tolstykh  endeavored  to  persuade  the  chief 
of  Attoo  to  visit  Kamchatka  in  his  vessel,  but  in  this 
he  failed.  After  living  on  this  island  in  peace  with 
the  natives  for  over  a  year,  Tolstykh  departed  with 
5,360  sea-otters  and  1,190  blue  foxes,  and  reached 
Kamchatka  in  the  autumn  of  1758." 

An  unfortunate  voyage  was  made  about  this  time 
by  a  vessel  belonging  to  the  merchant  Ivan  Shilkin, 
the  Kapiton,  which  it  will  be  remembered  was  built 
out  of  a  wreck  by  Bakof  and  Novikof.*'^  Ignaty 
Studentzof  was  the  Cossack  accompanying  this  expe- 
dition, and  upon  his  report  rests  all  the  information 
concerning  it  extant.  They  sailed  from  Okhotsk  in 
September  1757,  but  were  forced  by  stress  of  weather 
to  make  for  the  Kamchatka  shore  and  pass  the  win- 
ter there,  to  repair  a  damage.  Sei/ting  sail  again  in 
1758  they  touched  at  Bering  Island,  passed  by  Attoo 

*'  Neue  Nachr.,  43;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  app. 

*^  The  Kaf'don  had  been  confiscated  by  the  government,  but  was  finally 
delivered  to  Sliilkin  to  reimburse  him  for  losses  incurred.  Berg  mentions 
especially  that  iron  bolts  were  fieely  used  in  repairing  this  vessel.  As  early 
as  17o'2  a  trader  named  Glazachef  establislied  iron- works  at  Nishekamchatsk, 
and  being  enabled  to  sell  such  iron  as  he  could  manufacture  cheaper  than  it 
could  be  imported,  he  made  a  fortune.  Subsequently  Behm,  commander  of 
Kamchatka,  persuaded  him  to  transfer  the  works  to  the  government,  and 
remain  in  cliarge  at  a  fixed  salary.  Glazachef  finally  left  the  service,  and  his 
successors  not  understanding  the  business,  failed.  The  whole  annual  yield 
of  the  works  never  exceeded  one  thousand  pounds  of  metal,  and  under  Behm's 
successor  the  enterprise  was  abandoned  altogether.  Morskoi  Sbornik,  ciii. 
13, 14. 


where  Tolstykh  was  then  trading,  and  went  on  to  the 
eastward,  finally  bringing  up  near  an  unknown  island. 
A  party  sent  ashore  by  Stuclentzof  to  reconnoitre  were 
beaten  off  by  a  band  of  natives,  and  innnediately  after- 
ward a  sudden  gale  drove  the  ship  from  her  anchorage 
to  sea/^  The  mariners  were  cast  upon  a  rocky  island 
in  the  neighborhood,  saving  nothing  but  their  lives, 
a  small  quantity  of  provisions,  and  their  fire-arms. 
While  still  exhausted  from  battling  with  the  icy  waves 
they  beheld  approaching  a  large  bidar  with  natives. 
There  were  only  fifteen  able  to  defend  themselves,  but 
they  put  on  what  show  of  strength  and  courage  they 
could  command  and  went  to  meet  the  enemy.  One 
of  the  men,  Nikolai  Chuprof,  who  had  "been  to  the 
islands"  before  and  spoke  the  Aleut  language,  implored 
the  natives  for  assistance  in  their  distressed  condition, 
but  the  answer  was  a  shower  of  spears  and  arrows.^* 
A  volley  from  the  guns,  however,  killing  two,  put 
them  to  flight  as  usual.  Starvation  followed,  and 
there  were  seven  long  months  of  it.  Sea-weed  and 
the  water-soaked  skins  of  sea-otters  washed  ashore 
from  the  sunken  vessel  were  their  only  food.  Seven- 
teen died,  and  the  remainder  were  saved  onl}^  by  the 
putrid  carcass  of  a  whale  cast  ashore  by  the  sea. 
Rousing  themselves  they  built  a  boat  out  of  drift- 
wood and  the  remains  of  their  wreck,  killed  230  sea- 
otters  within  a  few  days  prior  to  their  departure,  and 
succeeded  in  reaching  the  island  where  Serebrennikof's 
vessel  was  then  moored,  and  near  which  they  anchored. 
But  a  gale  arising,  their  cables  snapped,  and  the  boat 
went  clown  with  everything  on  board  save  the  crew. 
Only  thirteen  of  this  unfortunate  company  of  thirty- 
nine  finally  returned  to  Kamchatka  on  Serebrennikof's 
vessel.*^  After  an  absence  of  four  years  in  search  of 
a  fortune  they  landed  destitute  even  of  clothing. 

«  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  35-6. 

**  This  was  the  brother  of  the  notorious  Yakof  Chuprof  who  committed 
the  infamous  outrages  upon  the  natives  during  Nevodchikof  s  first  voyage  to 
the  islands;  Nikolai  accompanied  his  brother  then.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  37. 

*^  Neue  Nachr.,  37-8;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  45-6. 


Thus  from  year  to  year  the  promyshleniki  pushed 
eastward  step  by  step.  A  merchant  of  Turinsk,  Stepan 
Glottof,  was  the  first  to  visit  and  carry  on  peaceful 
traffic  with  the  inhabitants  of  XJmnak  and  Unalaska. 
He  commanded  the  small  craft  Yulian,  built  at  Nishe- 
kamchatsk  by  Nikoforof,  in  which  he  sailed  on  the  2d 
of  September  1758,  accompanied  by  the  Cossack  Savs 
Ponomaref,  who  w^as  instructed  to  persuade  the  Aleuta 
to  become  Russian  subjects  and  pay  tribute.  Niko- 
forof intended  the  vessel  to  go  at  once  in  search  of 
new  islands  without  stopping  at  any  of  those  already 
known  to  the  promyshleniki;  but  long-continued  con- 
trary gales  compelled  Glottof  to  winter  at  Bering 
Island,  where  he  remained  till  the  following  August. 
Thence  he  sailed  eastward  for  thirty  days  and  landed 
on  an  unknown  island.*^  There  the  hunters  con- 
cluded to  spend  the  winter;  but  they  found  the  na- 
tives so  friendly  that  three  seasons  ^^assed  before 
Glottof  thought  of  returning  to  Kamchatka.  The 
Yulian  arrived  at  Bolsheretsk  on  the  3 1st  of  August 
1762,  with  a  large  and  valuable  cargo  containing  be- 
sides cross  and  red  foxes  the  first  black  foxes  from 
the  Aleutian  Islands.*' 

Two  other  vessels  are  said  to  have  been  despatched 
to  the  islands  in  1758,  by  the  merchant  Simeon 
Krassilnikof,  and  Nikofor  Trapeznikof,  but  only  of 
one  of  them,  the  Vladimir,  have  we  any  information. 
The  leaders  of  this  expedition  were  the  peredovchik, 
Dmitri  Paikof,  and  the  Cossack  Sava  Shevj^rin.  They 
put  to  sea  from  Nishekamchatsk  on  the  28th  of  Sej)- 

^^  Umnak,  according  to  Berg,  Khronol.  1st. ,  3G. 

*'  In  Berg's  summary  of  fur  shipments  the  cargo  of  the  Yulian  is  itemized 
as  follows:  Tribute  to  the  government,  11  sea-otters  and  26  black  foxes; 
cargo,  1,405  sea-otters,  280  sea-otter  tails,  1,002  black  foxes,  1,100  cross 
foxes,  400  red  foxes,  22  walrus-tusks,  and  58  blue  foxes;  the  whole  valued  at 
130,450  rubles.  Khrovol.  1st.,  Aj?]:).  In  the  Neue  Kochr.,  no  mention  of  this 
voyage  is  made;  Coxe  also  is  silent  on  the  subject.  The  fact  of  the  presence 
of  walrus-tusks  shows  that  theie  was  traffic  in  the  article  between  the  Una- 
laskans  and  the  natives  of  the  Alaska  peninsula,  where  the  huge  pennipeds 
still  abound.  The  Cossack  Ponomaref  sent  to  the  authorities  at  Okhotsk 
quite  a  correct  map  of  the  Aleutian  archipelago,  indicating  eight  large  islands 
north-east  of  Unalaska.  He  says  tliat  the  merchant  Peter  Shishkin  assisted 
him  in  compiling  a  chart.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.  37. 


tember,  with  a  crew  of  forty-five  men,  made  the  pas- 
sage to  Bering  Island  in  twenty-four  hours,  and  there 
hauled  up  their  vessel  for  the  winter.  On  the  16th 
of  July  1759  Paikof  set  sail  once  more,  taking  at  first 
a  southerly  course.*^ 

It  is  not  known  how  far  Paikof  pursued  his  south- 
erly course,  but  he  discovered  no  land  and  returned 
to  the  north,  arriving  in  the  vicinity  of  Atkha  Island 
the  1st  of  September.  Finding  no  convenient  harbor 
he  went  on  to  Umnak  Island  and  made  preparations 
to  pass  the  winter.  The  ship's  company  was  divided 
into  three  artels,  or  parties,  the  first  of  which  was 
commanded  by  Alexei  Drushinnin  and  stationed  on 
the  island  of  Sitkhin.*^  The  Cossack,  Shevyrin,  took 
ten  men  to  Atkha  and  the  remainder  of  the  crew 
established  their  winter-quarters  in  the  immediate 
vicinit}^  of  the  vessel  under  command  of  Simeon  Pole- 
voi. Paikof  was  evidently  only  navigator  and  had 
no  command  on  shore.  The  first  season  passed  in 
apparently  peaceful  intercourse  with  the  natives.^*' 

*^A  general  impression  prevailed  among  the  promyshleniki  of  the  time 
that  there  was  land  to  the  southward  of  the  Aleutian  Isles.  Ivan  Savich 
Lapiii,  from  whom  Berg  obtained  much  information,  stated  that  Gavril  Push- 
karef,  a  companion  of  Bering,  who  had  survived  the  terrible  winter  on 
Bering  Island,  always  asserted  positively  that  there  must  be  land  to  the 
southward.  The  sea-otters  and  fur-seals,  he  said,  though  found  about  Bering 
Island  and  its  vicinity  during  the  summer,  invariably  disappeared  in  a 
southerly  direction.  It  was  known  that  they  did  not  go  to  Kamcliatka  or  to 
the  Kurile  Islands,  and  though  ignorant  as  to  the  actual  whereabouts  of  the 
otters  and  seals,  Pushkaref  frequently  assured  Lapin  and  Trapeznikof  that 
they  could  make  their  fortune  by  discovering  the  winter  haunts  of  these 
animals  in  the  south.  Berrj,  Khronol.  I>it.,  38. 

■'^According  to  Cook,  Seetien;  and  La  P^rouse,  and  Holmberg,  Sitchin. 
CartO(j.  Pac.  Coaat,  MS.,  iii.  474.  In  Neiie  Nachr.  it  is  spelled  Sitkin,  while 
Berg  has  Sigdak.  Khronol.  1st.,  .39;  Umnak  Islaml,  south-west  of  Unalaska. 
On  Cook's  Atlas,  1778,  written  Umanak;  La  P^rouse,  1786,  Ounmak;  Holm- 
berg, 1854,  /  Umnak.   Cartog.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  458;  Neue  Nachr.,  49. 

^"The  custom  of  the  promyshleniki  after  establishing  themselves  on  an 
island,  was  to  divide  the  command  into  small  parties,  each  of  which  was  sta- 
tioned in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  a  native  village,  whose  chief  was  induced 
by  presents  to  assist  in  compelling  his  people  to  hunt,  on  the  pretext  perhaps 
that  the  empress,  who,  although  a  woman,  was  the  greatest  and  most  benig- 
nant being  on  earth,  required  such  service  of  them.  When  they  returned 
their  catch  was  taken  and  a  few  trifling  presents  made  them,  such  as  beads 
and  tobacco-leaf.  Two  objects  were  at  once  accomplished  by  the  cunning 
promyshleniki.  While  all  the  able-bodied  men  were  thus  away  gathering 
skins  for  them,  they  were  having  their  own  way  with  the  women  of  the  villages. 
Actual  trade  or  exchange  of  Pi,ussian  manufactures  for  skins  was  carried  on 


At  first  the  Russians  believed  the  island  of  Amlia 
to  be  uninhabited,  but  during  a  hunting  expedition  a 
boy  of  eight  years  was  discovered  hidden  in  the  grass. 
He  was  unable  or  unwilling  to  give  any  information, 
but  was  taken  to  the  Russian  camp,  baptized  and 
named  Yermola,  and  instructed  in  the  Russian  lan- 
guage. Subsequently  a  party  of  four  men,  two  women, 
and  four  children  were  discovered  and  were  at  once 
employed  by  the  promyshleniki  to  dig  roots  and  gather 
wood  for  them.  In  time  other  natives  visited  the 
strangers  in  canoes,  and  exchanged  seal-meat  and  fish 
for  needles,  thread,  and  glass  beads.^^ 

In  the  spring  of  the  following  year,  when  the  de- 
tached hunting  parties  came  back  to  the  ship,  it  was 
found  that  only  one  Russian  on  Atkha  Island  had  lost 
his  life  at  the  hands  of  the  natives,  and  that  he  met 
his  fate  through  his  own  fault.  Polevoi  was  much 
pleased  with  the  quantity  of  furs  obtained  and  con- 
cluded to  send  the  detachments  again  immediately  to 
the  same  localities.  Shevyrin  had  only  just  returned 
to  Atkha  with  eleven  men  when  the  natives,  who 
doubtless  had  suffered  at  the  hands  of  the  Russians 
during  the  winter,  fell  upon  the  party  and  killed  them 
all.  Drushinnin  heard  of  this  through  the  natives  on 
Sitkhin  Island  and  returned  at  once  to  the  vessel  at 
Amlia.  The  crew  of  the  Vladimir  was  now  reduced 
to  such  an  extent  that  the  hunters  felt  serious  appre- 
hensions as  to  their  safety,  and  consequently  they 
began  to  make  the  necessary  preparations  for  return- 
ing to  Kamchatka  at  once.  These  preparations  were 
interrupted,  however,  by  the  unexpected  arrival  of 
the  Gavril,  a  vessel  belonging  to  the  merchant  Be- 

only  where  the  natives  refused  to  hunt  for  the  Russians  without  reward.  All 
kinds  of  outrages  were  constantly  practised  on  the  timid  islanders  by  the  ruf- 
fianly taskmasters. 

^^Nfue  Nachr.,  50.  Amluh  according  to  Cook,  whilst  Holmberg  writes 
I  Amlja.   Cartoff.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  466. 

52  Bechevin,  a  rich  merchant  of  Irkutsk,  despatched  in  1760  the  largest 
vessel  hitherto  sent  to  the  Aleutian  Islands.  It  is  not  known  where  the 
Gavril  was  built;  her  length  was  62  feet,  and  she  carried  40  Russians  and  20 


The  Gavril  had  passed  through  the  Kurile  Islands 
in  July  and  arrived  at  Atkha  on  the  25th  of  Sep- 
tember.^^ The  fears  entertained  by  the  Vladimir's 
weakened  crew  vanished  at  once,  and  a  written  agree- 
ment was  entered  into  by  the  members  of  the  two 
expeditions  to  hunt  in  partnership.  Strong  detach- 
ments were  sent  out  to  the  stations  occupied  during 
the  previous  season,  and  also  to  the  island  of  Signam, 
north-east  of  Atkha.  The  result  of  the  season's 
work  proved  gratifying;  about  900  sea-otters  and  400 
foxes  of  various  kinds,  and  432  pounds  of  walrus- 
tusks  were  ready  for  shipment.^* 

A  consultation  was  held  in  the  following  spring, 
when  it  was  concluded  that  the  Vladimir  should  remain 
at  Amlia  a  little  longer,  and  then  return  to  Kamchatka 
with  as  many  of  the  furs  as  she  could  carry,  while  the 
Gavril  would  proceed  in  search  of  new  discoveries. 
The  joint  force  was  equally  divided  between  the  two 
vessels,  and  the  Gavril  set  sail  once  more,  taking  an 
easterly  course  and  touching  first  at  Umnak  Island. 
There  they  found  a  vessel  belonging  to  NikoforoP^ 
engaged  in  hunting,  and  consequently  they  limited 
their  operations  to  mending  the  sails  and  replenishing 

natives  of  Kamchatka.  The  authorities  of  Bolsheretsk  placed  on  board  a 
sergeant  of  Cossacks,  Gavril  Pushkaref,  and  three  men,  Andrei  Shdanof, 
Yakof  Sharipof,  and  Prokop  Lobaskhef.  Bechevin  also  sent  two  of  his  confi- 
dential clerks,  Nikofor  Golodof  and  Afanassiy  Askolkof.  Neue  Nachr.,  51. 
Two  other  vessels  were  recorded  by  Berg  as  having  sailed  for  the  islands  in 
1759.  Kybinskoi  and  his  partners  built  a  ship  named  the  Sv  Pet?'  i  Sv 
Pavel,  and  sent  her  out  to  search  for  land  south  of  the  Aleutian  Isles.  She 
had  a  crew  of  33  Russians  and  natives  of  Kamchatka  under  Andrei  Serebrenn- 
ikof,  the  former  partner  of  Sergeant  Bassof.  All  that  is  known  of  this  voy- 
age is  that  the  vessel  returned  in  1761,.  with  a  cargo  of  2,000  sea-otters,  but 
without  having  made  any  new  discoveries.  In  the  same  year,  1759,  a  ship 
called  the  Zakhar  i  Elizaveta  was  fitted  out  by  a  company  consisting  of 
Postnikof  of  Shuysk,  Krassilinikof  of  Tula,  and  Kulkof,  a  citizen  of  Vologda. 
Stepan  Cherepanof  was  navigator.  The  vessel  sailed  from  Nishekamchatsk, 
and  after  an  absence  of  three  years  arrived  at  Okhotsk  in  1762,  with  1,750 
sea-otters  and  530  blue  foxes.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  40-1. 

^^  According  to  the  Neue  Nachr.  the  Gavril  touched  at  one  of  the  Aleutian 
Isles  on  the  24th  of  August,  but  finding  the  vessels  of  Postnikof,  Trapeznikof, 
and  Serebrennikof,  at  anchor  there,  they  pushed  on  to  the  eastward.  Neue 
Nachr.,  52. 

^^Berg,  Khronol.  Ixt.,  App.  Here  was  another  evidence  of  constant  traffic 
between  the  islanders  and  the  inhabitants  of  the  Alaskan  peninsula. 

^*The  Yulian,  according  to  Neue  Nachr.,  53. 


their  stock  of  wood  and  water.  They  then  proceeded 
to  what  they  considered  to  be  the  island  of  "  Alaksha," 
but  whether  this  party  actually  wintered  on  the  penin- 
sula of  Alaska  is  not  quite  clear.  As  soon  as  a  suit- 
able harbor  had  been  found  the  ship  was  beached,  and 
the  crew  proceeded  to  erect  winter-quarters  on  shore. 
The  inhabitants  of  the  vicinity  received  the  Russians 
in  a  friendly  manner;  they  traded  honestly,  and  gave 
their  children  as  hostages. ^^  However,  this  peace 
and  good-will  were  not  of  long  duration.  The  lawless 
promyshleniki  of  Bechevin's  soon  gave  the  natives 
much  trouble,  fully  justifying  them  in  any  retaliation. 

In  January  1762  Golodof  and  Pushkaref,  with  a 
party  of  twenty  hunters,  coasted  in  bidars  in  search 
of  food,  and  landed  upon  an  adjoining  island.^^  While 
indulging  in  their  customary  outrages  they  were  sur- 
prised by  a  body  of  natives  who  killed  Golodof  and 
another  Russian,  and  wounded  three  more.  Shortly 
afterward  the  Russian  camp  was  attacked,  four  men 
killed,  as  many  wounded,  and  the  huts  reduced  to 
ashes.  In  May  the  Cossack  Lobashkof  and  one  of 
the  promyshleniki  went  to  bathe  in  a  hot  spring 
situated  about  five  versts  from  the  harbor,  and  were 
killed  by  the  natives.^^  In  return  the  Russians  put 
seven  of  the  hostages  to  death.  The  islanders  again 
attacked  the  Russian  camp,  but  were  repulsed. 

As  it  was  evident  that  the  natives  had  determined 

°^  The  Russians  received  nine  children  as  hostages,  and  in  addition  they 
engaged  two  men  and  three  M^omen  to  work  for  them.  N^eue  Nachr. ,  53-4. 

^'  It  is  impossilile  to  determine  which  island  this  was.  In  N'eue  Nachr. 
it  is  called  Uniunga,  a  name  not  to  be  found  on  any  chart.  Berg  calls  it  Ounga, 
but  there  is  no  evidence  to  indicate  that  the  men  of  Beche\'in's  expedition  pro- 
ceeded around  the  peninsula  and  north-eastward  as  far  as  the  Shumagin  Isl- 
ands. Keuc  Nachr.,  54;  Bern,  Khronol.  ht.,  43.  The  name  of  Ounungun, 
applied  to  the  Unalaska  people  by  their  western  neighbors,  according  to  Pinart, 
may  throw  some  light  upon  tliis  question;  it  is  probable  that  the  locality  of 
Golodof's  and  Pushkaref 's  exploits  was  not  the  peninsula  at  all,  but  Agun- 
alaksh,  the  Aleut  name  of  Unalaska,  which  was  subsequently  abbreviated  by 
the  Russians. 

^'^Ncne  Nachr.,  55.  This  is  another  point  in  support  of  the  theory  that  the 
Gavril  landed  on  Unalaska.  Five  versts  (three  and  a  half  miles)  from  the 
principal  settlement  on  Unalaska  Island  are  hot  springs,  aboriginally  resorted 
to  for  curing  rheumatic  and  skin  diseases.  Hot  springs  exist  also  near  the 
settlement  of  Morshevoi  on  the  south  point  of  the  peninsula,  but  they  are 
within  less  than  half  a  mile  from  the  shore. 


upon  the  destruction  of  the  entire  company,  the  out- 
l^nng  detachments  were  recalled.  The  ship  was  then 
repaired  and  the  whole  command  returned  to  Umnak 
Island.  There  they  took  on  board  two  natives  with 
their  families,  who  had  promised  to  pilot  them  to  other 
islands ;  but  as  soon  as  the  vessel  had  gained  the  open 
sea  a  violent  gale  from  the  eastward  drove  her  before 
it  until  on  the  23d  of  September  the  mariners  found 
themselves  near  an  unknown  coast,  without  masts, 
sails,  or  rudder,  and  with  but  little  rigging.  The  land, 
however,  proved  to  be  Kamchatka,  and  on  the  25th 
the  helpless  craft  drifted  into  the  bay  of  Kalatcheva, 
seventy  versts  from  Avatcha  Bay.  Bechevin  landed 
his  cargo,  consisting  of  900  sea-otters  and  350  foxes, 
valued  at  52,570  rubles. '^^  The  cove  where  the  landing 
was  effected  subsequently  received  the  name  of  Beche- 

Charges  of  gross  brutalities,  committed  during  this 
voyage,  have  been  made  against  Sergeant  Pushkaref. 
On  leaving  the  Aleutian  Isles  the  crew  of  the  Gavril, 
with  Pushkaref 's  consent,  took  with  them  twenty-five 
young  women  under  the  pretext  that  they  were  to  be 
employed  in  picking  berries  and  gathering  roots  for 
the  ship's  company.  When  the  coast  of  Kamchatka 
was  first  sighted  a  boat  was  sent  ashore  with  six  men 
and  fourteen  of  these  girls.  The  latter  were  then 
ordered  to  pick  berries.  Two  of  them  ran  away  and 
were  lost  in  the  hills,  and  during  the  return  of  the 
boat  to  the  ship  one  of  them  was  killed  by  a  man 
named  Korelin.^*^  In  a  fit  of  despair  the  remaining 
girls  threw  themselves  into  the  sea  and  were  drowned. 
In  order  to  rid  himself  of  troublesome  witnesses  to 
this  outrage,  Pushkaref  had  all  the  remaining  islanders 
thrown  overboard,  wdth  the  exception  of  one  boy, 
Moise,  and  Ivan,  an  interpreter  who  had  been  in 
the  service  of  Andrei  Serebrennikof.     Three  of  the 

^^Berg,  Khronol.  I-it.,  app. 

^°  Neue  Nachr. ,  56.  Berg  states  that  it  was  Pushkaref  himself  who  had 
accompanied  the  women  to  the  shore.   Khronol.  1st.,  45. 


women  had  died  before  leaving  the  islands. ^^  An  im- 
perial oukaz  issued  from  the  chanceller}^  at  Okhotsk 
to  a  company  consisting  of  Orekhof,  Lapin,  and  Shilof. 
who  asked  permission  to  despatch  an  expedition  to 
the  islands,  enjoins  on  the  promyshleniki  the  great- 
est care  and  kindness  in  their  intercourse  with  the 
natives.  The  eleventh  paragraph  of  the  oukaz  reads 
as  follows:  "As  it  appears  from  reports  forwarded  by 
Colonel  Plenisner,  who  was  charged  with  the  inves- 
tigation and  final  settlement  of  the  affairs  of  the 
Bechevin  company,  that  that  company  during  their 
voyage  to  and  from  the  Aleutian  Islands  on  a  hunt- 
ing and  trading  expedition  committed  indescribable 
outrages  and  abuses  on  the  inhabitants,  and  even  were 
guilty  of  murder,  inciting  the  natives  to  bloody  re- 
prisals, it  is  hereby  enjoined  upon  the  company  about 
to  sail,  and  especially  upon  the  master,  Isma'ilof,  and 
the  peredovchik,  Lukanin,  to  see  that  no  such  barbar- 
ities, plunder,  and  ravaging  of  women  are  committed 
under  any  circumstances."  The  whole  document  is 
of  a  similar  tenor  and  goes  far  to  prove  that  the  au- 
thorities were  convinced  that  the  outrages  reported 
to  them  had  in  truth  been  committed.^^ 

From  this  time  forward  the  authorities  of  Siberia 
evidently  favored  the  formation  of  privileged  companies, 
and  the  Bechevin  investigation  may  be  considered  as 
the  beginning  of  the  end  of  free  traffic  in  the  Ameri- 
can possessions  of  the  Russian  empire. 

'^''■Nciie  Nachr.,  57;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  45. 

^'~  Bfrg,  Khronol.  1st.,  45-52.  The  oukaz  is  signed  by  Captain-lieutenant 
Sava  Zubof,  and  dated  August  29,  1770.  Berg  found  in  some  letters  written 
by  the  collegiate  chancellor  Anton  Ivanovich  Lassef,  a  civil  engineer  of  the 
government  at  Irkutsk,  a  notice  to  the  effect  that  Bechevin  suffered  much 
during  a  penal  inquisition  with  torture,  conducted  against  him  in  1764  by 
K*A*K*,  probably  Knias  (Prince)  Alexander  Korzakof,  who  is  mentioned  aa 
having  been  detaileil  on  a  government  mission  to  Irkutsk  about  that  time. 




TotSTYKH's  Voyage — Movements  of  Vessels — St^ehlin's  Map — Wreck 


Formed — Collecting  Tribute — The  'Neue  Nachrichten' — Voyage 
of  the  'Zakhar  i  Elizaveta'— Terrible  Retaliation  of  the  Una- 
LASKANS — Voyage  of  the  'SvTroI'tska' — Great  Sufferings — Fatal 
Onslaught— Voyage  of  Glottof — Ship  Nomenclature — Discovery 
OF  Kadiak — New  Mode  op  Warfare — The  Old  Man's  Tale— Solo- 
vief's  Infamies — The  Okhotsk  Government— More  '  St  Peters  '  and 
'St  Pauls' — Queen  Catherine  and  the  Merchant  Nikoforof — End 
OF  Private  Fur-hunting  Expeditions. 

The  first  vessel  which  sailed  to  the  Aleutian  Islands 
under  protection  of  a  special  imperial  oukaz  was  the 
Andreian  i  Natalia,  owned  and  commanded  by  An- 
drei Tolstykh,  a  man  of  courage  and  perseverance, 
who  during  his  three  previous  voyages  had  amassed 
some  fortune,  and  concluded  to  adventure  it  on  this 

The  Andreian  i  Natalia  left  Kamchatka  the  27th 
of  September  1760.  In  two  days  J3ering  Island  was 
reached,  when  in  accordance  with  custom  the  ship  was 
hauled  up  for  the  winter.  In  the  June  following  Tol- 
stykh again  put  to  sea,  steering  at  first  southerly,  then 
northward,  arriving  at  Attoo  Island  the  5th  of  August.^ 

^  Tolstykh  began  his  official  report  as  follows:  'By  virtue  of  an  oukaz  of 
her  Imperial  Majesty,  the  Empress  Elizabeth  Petrovna,  issued  through  the 
Chancellery  of  Bolsheretsk  in  Kamchatka,  on  the  4th  day  of  August  1760,  and 
in  pursuance  of  an  order  deposited  with  Lieutenant  Vassili  Shmalef,  I  was 
permitted  to  put  to  sea  with  the  Cossacks  Petr  Vassiutinski  and  Maxim 
Lazaref,  detailed  for  this  service.'  Berrj,  Khronol.  1st.,  53;  Neue  Nachr.,  59; 
Shelikof,  Puteshestvie,  134;  Grewingk,  Beitrag  zur  Kenntniss  der  nordivest- 
kiiste  Amerikas,  315. 

*  He  met  a  vessel  returning  to  Kamchatka,  probably  the  Sv  Peter  i  Sv 



Three  vessels  were  there  trading,  belonging  respect- 
ively to  Chebaievski,  Postnikof,  and  Trapeznikof. 
Tolstykh  had  hoped  to  find  the  friendly  chief  Tunul- 
gasan,  whom  he  had  met  before,  but  the  aboriginal 
had  died,  and  his  successor,  Bakutun,  told  the  new- 
comers that  there  were  too  many  Russians  on  his 
island  already,  and  they  might  as  well  pass  on,  but 
appeased  with  presents  the  monarch  finally  gave 
Tolstykh  some  of  his  own  relatives  as  hostages,  who 
were  also  to  serve  as  interpreters  and  guides  to  other 
islands.  After  a  sojourn  of  two  weeks  the  vessel  con- 
tinued to  the  eastward,  and  on  the  28th  of  August 
reached  an  island  which  was  subsequently  ascertained 
to  be  Adakh.^ 

Pavel,  with  over  2,500  sea- otters  on  board  valued  at  150,000  rubles.  Neiie 
Nurhr.,  68-9;  Khronoh  1st.,  app.;  Grewingk,  314. 

^In  Nem  Nachr.,  61,  the  island  is  named  Ajaga  or  Kajachu,  names  not  to 
be  found  in  any  chart.  Grewingk  states  that  Tolstykh  brought  news  of  the 
islands  Kanaga,  Tchechina,  Tagalak,  Atchu,  Amlag,  and  Atach.  Grewinrjh, 
Beitrag,  315;  SheVikof,  Puteshextvie,  135.  There  was  necessarily  great  con- 
fusion in  the  application  of  names  to  the  newly  discovered  islands.  On  the 
map  of  Stajhlhi,  an  offspring  of  Croy^re's  abortion  published  in  English  in 
1774,  the  new  northern  archipelago  was  laid  down  in  the  most  remarkable 
manner.  By  colorings  the  islands  were  divided  into  four  groups,  the  largest 
of  Avhich  was  called  Anadirsk  group,  and  included  Alaska,  a  large  island  ex- 
tending east  and  west  in  latitude  65°,  and  Unalaska,  and  Amchitla,  Umnak, 
Sannakh,  Yunaska,  and  a  number  of  other  islands  with  imaginary  names. 
This  group  is  placed  in  a  wide  passage  between  the  continents  of  Asia  and 
America.  To  the  south-west  and  extending  from  latitude  60°  to  55°,  we  find 
the  Aleutian  group  comprising  Amlia,  Atkha,  BuUdir,  'Kadiak,'and  'StHer- 
mogen.'  To  the  north-west  of  this  group,  in  latitude  00°,  Staehlin  placed  the 
Olutorskoi  Islands,  containing  Kanaga,  Ayak  (Adakh?),  and  Copper  Island. 
To  the  southward  of  the  latter  we  find  Bermg  Island,  with  two  pretty  large 
adjoining  islands,  and  still  farther  south  a  group  of  imaginary  discoveries  to 
which  the  names  bestowed  by  Bering  upon  the  nearest  Aleutian  islands  wei'e 
applied.  Stjehlin's  inti^oduction  to  this  description  of  the  archipelago  is  suffi- 
ciently original  to  merit  a  place  in  these  pages.  He  begins  as  follows:  'It 
appears,  from  the  accounts  of  our  illiterate  sea-faring  men,  that  there  is  no 
essential  difference,  in  any  respect,  betM^een  these  sevei-al  islands,  and  their 
inhabitants;  and  that  they  seem  to  be  pretty  much  alike.  It  is  needless  to 
name  every  one  of  the  islands  which  compose  our  new  northern  archipelago, 
as  they  arc  set  doAvn  in  the  map  hereto  annexed,  with  their  situation  and  size. 
As  to  the  absolute  accuracy  of  the  two  first  articles,  namely,  the  true  situa- 
tion, as  to  geographical  latitude  and  longitude,  and  their  exact  dimensions,  I 
would  not  be  answerable  for  them,  until  they  can  be  ascertained  by  astronom- 
ical observations.  Of  these  islands  we  know  in  general,  and  for  certain,  that 
those  which  are  situated  between  latitude  50th  to  the  55th  degree,  resemble 
the  islands  of  the  Knrild,  with  regard  to  the  weather,  the  productions,  as  also 
in  the  figure,  appearance,  clothing,  food,  way  of  life,  and  manners. .  .of  the 
inhabitants,  whereas  those  from  the  55th  to  the  GOth  degree,  which  are  the 
islands  of  Olutora  and  Afeuta,  are  in  all  these  particulars  very  like  Kam- 
chatka.    Those  of  the  third  division  have  a  different  aspect,  and  are  situated 


There  was  every  indication  of  multitudes  of  sea- 
otters  in  this  vicinity,  and  as  soon  as  a  convenient 
harbor  had  been  found  all  hands  were  set  to  work  on 
Adakh  and  the  adjoining  island  of  Kanaga.  Parties 
were  also  despatched  to  other  islands  as  far  eastward 
as  Atkha  and  Amlia,  meeting  everywhere  a  friendly 
reception.  After  a  stay  on  these  islands,  subse- 
quently named  after  him  the  Andreianovski,  of  nearly 
three  years,  Tolstykh  collected  quite  a  valuable  cargo 
of  furs,  and  finally  started  homeward  on  the  14tli  of 
June  1764.  He  stopped  at  Attoo  Island  to  land  his 
interpreters  and  repair  his  vessel,  which  was  leaking 
badly.  Some  shipwrecked  Russians  were  also  taken 
on  board,  and  on  the  27th  of  August  the  Andreian  i 
Natalia  took  her  final  departure  for  Kamchatka.  On 
the  4th  day  of  September  the  coast  was  sighted,  but 
Tolstykh  lost  his  vessel  in  attempting  to  weather  the 
cape  of  Kamchatka.  He  succeeded,  however,  in  sav- 
ing both  crew  and  cargo.^ 

As  Tolstykh  and  "Vassiutkinski  claimed  to  have  per- 
suaded the  inhabitants  of  six  islands  to  become  sub- 
between  the  60tli  and  67th  degree  of  north  latitude.  The  former,  which  are 
like  Kamtschatka,  are  full  of  mountains  and  volcanoes,  have  no  woods,  and 
but  few  plants.  The  more  northern  islands  abound  in  woods  and  fields,  and 
consequently  in  wild  beasts.  As  to  the  savage  inhabitants  of  these  newly 
discovered  islands,  they  are  but  one  remove  from  brutes,  and  differ  from  the 
inhabitants  of  the  islands  lately  discovered  in  the. .  .South  Sea,  being  the 
very  reverse  of  the  friendly  and  hospitable  people  of  Otaheite. '  Stcehlin's  New 
North.  Archipelago,  16-20.  The  author  begins  his  description  of  the  islands 
■with  Ajak,  which  he  represents  as  150  versts  in  circumfei'ence,  with  high 
rocky  mountains,  valleys,  dry  slopes,  plains,  morass,  turf,  meadows,  and 
'roads,'  adding  astutely,  'so  that  you  may  easily  go  over  all  the  island.'  He 
also  states  that  the  inhabitants  of  Ajak  cannot  be  numbered,  because  they 
move  from  island  to  island,  crossing  straits  in  bidars.  In  a  note  the  rather 
remarkable  explanation  is  given  that  'bidars  are  large  boats  made  of  whales' 
ribs.'  Id.,  25.  The  account  given  by  StEehlin  of  Kadiak  Island  is  evidently 
based  on  Solovief 's  experience  in  1762,  but  on  the  chart  the  island  is  altogether 
out  of  place,  being  south  of  the  Aleutian  islands.  The  inhabitants  are  painted 
in  the  blackest  colors,  in  accordance  witli  Solovief 's  impressions.  He  every- 
where displays  the  grossest  ignorance.  The  word  torbassa,  a  Kamchatka 
expression  for  fur-boots  or  skin-boots,  Stsehlin  applies  to  snow-shoes,  and 
kamish,  signifying  thread  made  of  reindeer  sinew,  he  defines  as  thread  made 
of  the  fibre  of  a  reed. 

*  The  reports  of  Tolstykh's  voyage  are  conflicting;  the  Neue  Nachr.  gave 
his  catch  as  only  1,880  full  grown  sea-otters,  778  yearlings,  and  372  pups. 
Berg  places  it  at  3,036  sea-otters,  and  532  blue  foxes,  in  addition  to  govern- 
ment tribute  of  100  sea-otters,  and  values  the  cargo  at  120,000  rubles. 
Khronol.  1st.,  54,  app.;  Ne^le  Nachr.,  62, 
Hist.  Alaska.    9 


jects  of  Russia  and  to  pay  tribute,  the  voyage  was 
duly  reported  to  the  empress,  who  subsequently  re- 
warded Tolstykh  and  the  two  Cossacks.^ 

One  vessel  was  despatched  to  the  islands  in  1760, 
but  our  information  concerning  it  is  meagre.  It  was 
built  and  fitted  out  under  the  auspices  of  the  mer- 
chant Terentiy  Chebaievski,  and  under  the  immediate 
superintendence  of  his  clerk  Vassili  Popof  Berg 
claims  to  have  found  a  notice  in  the  papers  of  Zelon- 
ski  to  the  effect  that  Chebaievski's  vessel  returned 
in  1763  with  a  cargo  valued  at  104,218  rubles. ° 

A  plan  had  been  formed  by  this  combination  of 
wealthy  merchants  for  making  a  thorough  examina- 
tion of  the  Aleutian  chain  and  the  adjoining  con- 
tinent, and  then  to  decide  upon  the  'most  favorable 
locality  for  opening  operations  on  a  larger  scale.  The 
object  of  the  expedition  was  well  conceived  and  de- 
serving of  success,  but  a  chain  of  unfortunate  circum- 
stances combined  to  frustrate  their  designs.  Three  of 
the  ships  fitted  out  by  the  partners  were  destroyed 
with  all  on  board,  and  the  fourth  returned  without 
even  paying  expenses."  We  have  the  names  of  only  two 
of  the  three  vessels  destroyed,  the  Zahhar  i  Elizaveta 

^  Berg  states  that  among  the  papers  of  the  former  governor  of  eastern 
Siberia,  Dennis  Ivanovich  Checherin,  he  found  a  rescrij)t  of  the  empress 
Catherine  of  which  he  gives  the  following  copy:  'Dennis  Ivano\-ich:  Your 
communication  concerning  the  subjection  into  allegiance  to  Me  of  six  hitherto 
unknown  islands,  as  well  as  the  copies  of  rej)orts  of  Cossack  Vassiutkinski  and 
his  companions,  I  have  read  with  satisfaction.  Such  enterprise  pleases  Us 
very  much.  It  is  to  be  deplored  that  the  papers  giving  a  more  detailed 
description  of  the  islands  and  their  inhabitants  have  been  lost  during  the 
wreck  of  the  vessel.  The  promise  of  leward  from  Me  to  the  merchant  Tol- 
stykh, returning  to  him  the  tenth  part  of  proceeds  accruing  to  Our  treasury 
from  each  sea-voyage,  I  fully  approve,  and  hereby  order  you  to  carry  out 
this  design.  You  will  also  promote  the  Cossacks  Vassiutkinski  and  Lazarof  for 
their  services  to  the  rank  of  Nobles  in  your  district.  INIay  God  grant  them 
good  success  in  their  projected  voyage  next  sprmg  and  a  safe  return  at  its 
conclusion.  You  will  impress  upon  the  hunters  that  they  must  treat  their 
new  brethren  and  countrymen,  the  inhabitants  of  Our  newly  acquired  islands, 
with  the  greatest  kindness  and  without  any  oppression  or  abuse.  March  2, 
1766.    Catherine.'  Benj,  Khronol.  1st.,  66-7;  Vrewinfjh,  Beitrag.,  315. 

®  Khronol.  1st.,  app.;  Greiringl;  Beitrag,  315.  It  was  e-vident  that  Popof 
did  not  sail  with  this  expedition,  for  we  see  him  mentioned  as  an  active  partner 
in  the  more  extensive  enterprises  undertaken  in  1762  by  Trapeznikof,  Protassof, 
and  Lapin,  Berg's  best  and  most  frequently  quoted  authority  of  the  history 
of  that  period.     See  also  D'Autti-oche,   Voyage  en  Sihirie,  ii.  113;  Antidote,  i. 

'  Veniaminof,  i.   118-131, 


commanded  by  Drushinnin,  owned  by  Kulkof,  and  the 
Sv  Troitska,  or  Holy  Trinity,  commanded  by  Ivan 
Korovin.  The  third  is  known  to  have  been  com- 
manded by  Medvedef,  a  master  in  the  navy.  The 
fourth  vessel  was  the  property  of  Trapeznikof,  but 
who  commanded  her  is  not  known. ^ 

The  Zahhar  i  Elizaveta  sailed  from  Okhotsk  the 
6th  of  September  17G2,  wintered  at  Avatcha  Bay, 
and  proceeding  the  following  July  reached  Attoo, 
where  seven  of  the  shipwrecked  crew  of  the  Sv  Petr  i 
Sv  Pavel  were  taken  on  board.  One  of  these  was 
Korelin,  who  alone  survived  this  expedition  and  fur- 
nished a  report  of  it.  From  Attoo  Drushinnin  pro- 
ceeded to  Adakh,  w^here  another  vessel,  the  Andreian 
i  Natalia  was  then  anchored,  but  as  the  natives  all 
produced  receipts  for  tribute  signed  by  Tolstykh, 
Drushinnin  contented  himself  with  filling  his  water- 
casks  and  moved  on.^ 

From  Adakh  tlie  Zakhar  i  Elizaveta  proceeded  to 
Umnak  where  a  party  of  Glottofs   men  were  then 

*  Ve.niaminof,  i.  118.  The  ship  of  Medvedef  was  lost  at  Umnak;  the 
ship  commanded  by  Drushinnin  was  manned  with  34  llussians  of  whom  three 
only  returned.  Among  them  was  Bragin  who  is  mentioned  in  Sarychef,  ii. 
37,  as  having  wintered  on  Kadiak  Island  in  1705.  Berg  claims  that  Dru- 
shiniun's  crew  consisted  of  8  natives  of  Kamchatka  and  34  Russians,  including 
the  peredovchik  JMiasnikh.  Khronol.  Int.,  58. 

'•'Neue  Ncichr.,  72-3.  The  Neiie  Nachrichttn  is  a  small  octavo  printed  in 
German  black  letter  and  published  in  Hamburg  and  Leipsic  in  1776.  It  bears 
no  authorship  on  the  title-page  but  the  initials  J.  L.  S.  Most  bibliographers 
have  pronounced  it  anonymous,  as  the  authorship  is  involved  in  some  uncer- 
tainty. The  library  of  congress  has  the  work  catalogued  under  Stiihlin  or 
Strahlin.  M.  J.  Von  Stahlin  published  an  account  of  the  new  northern 
archipelago  in  the  Peterahurger  Geoyraphixcher  Kalevder  in  1774.  This  was 
translated  into  English  in  London,  during  the  same  year,  in  a  small  octavo  vol- 
ume. There  is,  however,  no  reason  to  believe  that  Staehlin  was  the  J.  L.  S. 
of  Neue  Nachrichten,  as  many  of  his  statements  in  the  other  work  do  not  agree 
with  the  text  of  the  latter.  A  man  named  A.  L.  SchliJzer  pulilished  in  the 
year  1771,  at  Halle,  Germany,  a  quarto  volume  of  over  400  pages  entitled 
Allgemeine  Geschichte,  Von  dem  Norden,  treating  on  kindred  subjects.  It  is 
probable  that  in  Mr  Schlozer  we  find  the  original  J.  L.  S.,  as  the  llrst  of  the 
initials  might  easily  have  been  inadvertently  changed.  It  is  a  signilicant  fact 
that  in  Shelikof's  voyage  we  find  whole  passages  and  pages  almost  the  verbal 
translation  from  the  Nachrichten.  Explanations  and  corrections  of  this  volume 
were  subsequently  published  under  the  auspices  of  Buffon  in  the  Sept  Epoques 
de  la  Nature,  GreivivgJc,  Beitrag  and  Pallas  Nordische  Bertrage.,  i.  273. 
Further  than  this,  in  Acta  Petropolitana,  vi.  126,  J.  A.  L.  Von  Schlozer  is 
mentioned  as  author  of  Neve  Nachrichten,  and  corresponding  member  of  the 
Imperial  Academy  of  Sciences. 


hunting.  The  peredovchik  Miasnikh  was  sent  out 
with  thirty-five  men  to  explore  the  coast.  They  went 
to  the  north-eastern  end  of  the  island,  and  after  meet- 
ing everywhere  with  indications  of  the  recent  presence 
of  Russians,  the}^  returned  to  the  ship  about  the  mid- 
dle of  September.  On  the  day  of  their  return  letters 
were  also  received  through  native  messengers  from 
the  vessels  commanded  by  Korovin  and  Medvedef, 
who  had  lately  located  themselves  on  the  islands  of 
Umnak  and  Unalaska.  Drushinnin  at  once  sent  out 
a  reconnoitring  party  to  the  latter  island,  and  in  due 
time  a  favorable  report  was  received  inducing  the 
commander  to  move  his  craft  to  Unalaska,  where  he 
anchored  the  2 2d  near  the  northern  end  of  the  island. 
When  the  cargo  had  been  landed  and  a  foundation 
had  been  laid  for  a  winter  habitation,  two  of  the  chiefs 
of  neighboring  villages  voluntarily  opened  friendly 
intercourse  by  offering  hostages.  Others  from  more 
distant  settlements  soon  followed  their  example. 

This  friendly  reception  encouraged  Drushinnin  to 
adhere  to  the  old  practice  of  dividing  his  force  into 
small  parties  for  the  winter  in  order  to  secure  better 
results  both  in  hunting  and  in  procuring  subsistence. 
The  peredovchik  accordingly  sent  out  Petr  Shekalef 
with  eleven  men;  another  party  of  eleven  men  under 
Mikhail  Khudiakof,  and  a  third  of  nine  men  under 
Yefim  Koshigin.  The  last  named  remained  at  the 
harbor;  Khudiakof  located  his  party  at  Kalekhtak; 
while  Shekalef  went  to  the  little  island  of  Inaluk, 
about  thirty  versts  distant  from  the  ship.  Drushinnin 
accompanied  the  latter  party.  Stepan  Korelin,  who 
subsequently  alone  survived  to  relate  the  occurrences 
of  that  disastrous  winter,  was  also  a  member  of  the 
Inaluk  party  who  had  constructed  a  cabin  in  close 
proximity  to  the  native  habitation,  containing  some 
twenty  inmates.  The  relations  between  the  promysh- 
leniki  and  the  natives  appeared  to  be  altogether 
friendly,  and  no  trouble  was  apprehended  until  the 
beginning  of  December.     On  the  4th  a  party  of  five 


men  set  out  in  the  morning  to  look  after  the  fox- 
traps.^*'  Drushinnin,  Shekalef,  and  Shevyrin  then  paid 
a  visit  to  the  native  dwelhng.  They  had  just  entered 
the  low  aperture  when  they  were  set  upon  by  a  num- 
ber of  armed  men,  who  knocked  down  Shekalef  and 
Drushinin  with  clubs  and  then  finished  them  with  the 
knives  they  bought  of  them  the  day  before.  Shevyrin 
had  taken  with  him  from  the  house  an  axe,  and  when 
the  excited  savages  turned  their  attention  to  him  he 
made  such  good  use  of  his  weapon  that  he  succeeded 
in  regaining  the  Russian  winter-quarters  alive,  though 
severely  wounded.  Bragin  and  Korelin  at  once  began 
to  fire  upon  the  Aleuts  with  their  muskets  from 
w^ithin,  but  Kokovin,  who  happened  to  be  outside, 
was  quickly  surrounded,  thrown  down,  and  assaulted 
with  knives  and  spears  until  Korelin,  armed  with  a 
huge  bear-knife,  made  a  gallant  sortie,  wounded  two 
of  the  islanders,  put  the  others  to  flight,  and  rescued 
his  half-dead  comrade." 

A  close  siege  of  four  days  followed  this  sanguinary 
onslaught.  The  fire-arms  of  the  Russians  prevented 
a  charge  by  the  enemy,  but  it  was  unsafe  to  show 
themselves  outside  the  hut  even  for  a  moment,  in 
search  of  water  or  food.  To  add  to  their  apprehensions, 
the  savages  displayed  in  plain  view  the  garments  and 
arms  of  their  comrades  who  had  gone  to  visit  the  fox- 
traps,  a  sure  indication  that  they  were  no  longer  among 
the  living.  Under  the  shelter  of  night  the  Russians 
launched  a  bidar  and  pulled  away  out  of  the  harbor, 
the  natives  watching  their  movements,  but  making  no 
attempt  to  pursue.  Once  out  of  sight  of  their  en- 
emies Korelin  and  the  other  fugitives  landed,  pulled 

^^  Berg  states  that  Drusliirmin  sent  out  these  men  and  then  resolved  to  visit 
the  dwelling  of  the  natives  with  the  remainder  of  his  men,  Korelin,  Bragin, 
Shevyrin,  Kokovin,  and  one  other.  In  the  Neue  Nachrichten  we  find  an 
account  of  the  occurrence  ditfering  considerably  in  its  details.  Drushinnin's 
name  is  not  mentioned,  while  the  number  remaining  at  home  is  given  as  five, 
Shekalef,  Korelin,  Bragin,  Shevyrin,  and  Kokovm.  There  is  every  reason  to 
believe,  however,  that  Berg  was  correct,  as  Drusliumin  was  with  the  pai-ty  and 
does  not  appear  in  any  account  of  subsequent  events.  Khronol.  1st.,  59;  Neue 
JSfachr.,  75-6. 

^'^  Neue  Nachr.,  77;  Coxe^s  Russian  Discoveries,  i.  38;  Veniaminof,  i.  22. 


their  boat  upon  the  beach,  and  set  out  across  the  hills 
to  Kalekhtak,  where  they  expected  to  find  Khudiakof 
and  his  detachment.  It  was  after  dark  when  they 
reached  the  neighborhood.  They  fired  signal-guns, 
but  receiving  no  reply  they  wisely  kept  at  a  distance. 
Before  long,  however,  they  found  themselves  pursued 
b}^  a  horde  of  savages,  and  discovering  an  isolated,  pre- 
cipitous rock  near  the  beach  which  could  be  defended 
for  a  time,  they  concluded  to  make  a  stand  there.  With 
their  fire-arms  they  finally  beat  off  the  pursuers  and 
resumed  their  retreat,  this  time  with  but  little  hope 
of  finding  those  alive  who  had  remained  with  the  ship. 
Presently  an  object  caught  their  eyes  which  confirmed 
their  worst  apprehensions.  It  was  the  main-hatch 
lying  on  the  beach,  having  been  washed  up  b}'  the 
waves.  Without  waiting  further  confirmation  of  their 
fears  the  four  men  took  to  the  mountains,  hiding  in 
the  ravines  until  nightfall.  Under  cover  of  darkness 
they  ajDproached  the  anchorage,  only  to  find  the  ship 
broken  up,  and  some  stores  with  the  dead  bodies  of 
their  comrades  scattered  on  the  beach.  Gathering  a 
few  packages  of  dried  fish  and  some  empty  leather 
provision-bags  they  stole  away  into  the  hills,  where  a 
temporary  shelter  was  hastily  constructed.  Thence 
they  made  occasional  excursions  at  night  to  the  scene 
of  disaster,  whicli  must  have  occurred  simultaneously 
with  those  of  Inaluk  and  Kalekhtak,  in  search  of 
such  needed  articles  as  had  been  left  by  the  savages. ^^ 
The  leather  provision-bags,  though  cut  open,  were 
very  acceptable  as  material  for  the  construction  of  a 
small  bidar. 

From  the  9th  of  December  1763  until  the  2d  of 

i^Davidof  tells  a  story  of  the  manner  in  which  the  Aleuts  secured  a  simul- 
taneous onslaught  upon  all  three  of  the  Russian  detachments.  According- 
to  him,  they  resorted  to  the  old  device  of  distributing  among  the  chiefs  of 
villages  bundles  of  sticks,  equal  in  number,  one  of  which  was  to  be  burned 
each  day  till  the  last  designated  the  day.  Dn/kratnoie  Puteshestoie,  ii.  1C7. 
Veniaminof  ridicules  the  story  and  declares  it  to  be  an  invention  of  Davidof, 
as  the  Aleuts  had  numbers  up  to  a  thousand  and  could  easily  have  appointed 
any  day  without  the  help  of  sticks.  Veniaminof.  Zapiski,  i.  118.  No  mention 
of  it  is  made  in  Xeue  Xachrichten.  Berg  also  quotes  Davidof.  Sheliko/'s  Voy- 
aue,  97. 


February  1764  these  unfortunates  remained  in  hiding, 
but  on  the  latter  date  their  bidar  was  successfully 
launched,  and  before  morning  the  party  had  emerged 
from  Kapiton  Bay,  coasting  to  the  westward  in  search 
of  one  of  Trapeznikof 's  vessels  commanded  by  Koro- 
vin.^^  Thous^h  travellino^  only  at  night  and  hiding^ 
among  the  cliifs  by  day,  they  were  soon  discovered  by 
the  natives,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  Makushin  village 
they  were  compelled  to  sustain  a  siege  of  five  weeks 
in  a  cave,  exposed  to  constant  attacks/"*  During  this 
whole  time  they  suffered  intensely  from  hunger  and 
thirst,  and  would  certainly  have  succumbed  had  it  not 
been  for  an  ample  supply  of  powder  and  lead  which 
prevented  their  enemies  from  engaging  them  at  close 
quarters.  At  last  on  the  30th  of  March  the  fugitives 
succeeded  in  joining  their  countrymen  under  Korovin, 
who  were  then  stationed  on  the  southern  shore  of 
Makushin  Bay.  Shevyrin  died  at  Unalaska  during 
the  same  year;  the  other  three,  Korelin,  Kokovin, 
and  Bragin,  recovered  their  strength,  but  only  the 
former  finally  reached  Kamchatka  with  Solovief  s  ves- 
sel, after  passing  through  additional  vicissitudes. 

The  ship  Sv  Tro'itsJca,  which  Korovin  commanded, 
was  fitted  out  in  1762  by  Nikofor  Trapeznikof,"  and 

^^Veniaminof  in  relating  this  occurrence  adds  that  a  charitable  native 
found  the  fugitives  during  the  winter,  and  not  only  failed  to  betray  them,  but 
supplied  them  with  provisions,  paying  them  occasional  stealthy  visits  at  night. 
Veniaminof,  Zax>.,  i.  99. 

^^Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  72;  Dvuhr.  Put.,  ii.  113. 

^^  Berg  succeeded  in  collecting  the  following  data  concerning  the  transac- 
tions of  this  enterprising  citizen  of  Irkutsk.  In  the  course  of  25  years  he 
despatched  10  vessels  upon  voyages  of  discovery  to  the  eastward  of  Kam- 
chatka. His  shitika  Niholai  made  three  voyages  between  1762  and  1766. 
A  small  boat  named  the  Fish  returned  in  1757  with  an  exceedingly  rich  cargo, 
valued  at  254,900  rubles.  The  Sv  TroiLfka,  the  Sv  Petr  i  Sv  Pavel,  and  one 
other  vessel  which  returned  in  1763  with  a  cargo  valued  at  105,730  rubles, 
also  belonged  to  Trapeznikof.  The  sea-otter-skins  alone  brought  by  these 
expeditions  numbered  over  10,000.  Berg  concludes  as  follows:  '  It  would  be 
of  interest  to  know  how  much  wealth  Trapeznikof  realized  out  of  all  these 
enterprises.  Ivan  Savich  Lapin  told  me  that  through  losses  sustained  in  some 
of  his  undertakings,  and  through  the  bankruptcy  of  some  of  his  debtors, 
Trapeznikof  suddenly  found  himself  reduced  from  wealth  to  poverty. '  His 
old  age  was  passed  in  straitened  circumstances,  and  he  left  barely  enough  to 
defray  the  expenses  of  his  burial.  Khronol.  1st.,  62-3,  App. 


sailed  from  the  mouth  of  the  Kamchatka  River  on 
the  15th  of  September,  with  a  crew  of  thirty-eight 
Russians  and  six  Kamchatkans.  They  passed  the 
winter  on  Bering  Island,  remaining  until  the  1st  of 
August  of  the  following  year.  The  ship  fitted  out 
by  Protassof  and  commanded  by  Medvedef  had  also 
wintered  there,  and  before  sailing  the  two  commanders 
made  some  exchanges  in  their  crews.  After  sustain- 
ing some  loss  by  death,  Korovin  had  at  the  time  of 
his  departure  from  Bering  Island  thirty-seven  men 
and  Medvedef  forty-nine.  Both  vessels  made  a  short 
run  to  the  Aleutian  Islands,  reaching  the  straits  be- 
tween Umnak  and  Unalaska  on  the  15th  of  August. 
Medvedef  concluded  to  remain  on  Umnak  Island 
while  Korovin  selected  an  anchorage  on  the  Unalaska 
shore.  The  native  villages  on  the  coast  appeared  to 
be  deserted,  but  a  short  distance  inland  some  inhabited 
dwellings  were  found.  The  chief  of  the  settlement 
offered  several  small  boys  as  hostages,  and  produced 
tribute  receipts  signed  by  the  Cossack  Ponomaref 
Korovin  evidently  was  satisfied  with  his  reception,  as 
he  returned  immediate!}'  to  the  ship,  landed  his  whole 
cargo,  erected  a  large  hut  of  drift-wood,  and  built 
several  bidars  for  his  hunting  parties.^^ 

In  a  few  weeks  all  the  arrangements  for  the  winter 
were  made,  and  Korovin  set  out  with  two  boats 
manned  by  nine  men  each,  one  of  them  commanded 
by  Barnashef,  who  had  visited  the  island  previously 
with  Glottof.  They  visited  three  villages  in  succes- 
sion, meeting  everywhere  with  a  friendly  reception  on 
the  part  of  the  chiefs,  but  nearly  all  the  adult  males 
appeared  to  be  absent  from  home.  After  the  safe 
return  of  this  party  another  expedition  was  sent  out 
to  the  east  side  of  the  island  whence  they  also  re- 
turned unmolested  accompanied  by  some  hostages, 
having  met  during  their  journey  with  some  men  of 
Drushinnin's  party.  Feeling  now  safe,  Korovin  sent 
out  a  hunting  party  of  twenty-three  under  Barnashef, 

^^Pallaft,  Xordtsche  Bcitrafje,  i.  274. 



in  two  bidars,  to  the  west  end  of  the  island.  Each 
boat  carried  eight  muskets  and  every  man  had  a  pistol 
and  a  lance;  provisions  had  been  prepared  for  the 

At  various  times  during  the  season  letters  were 
received  from  the  detached  parties  reportin<^  their 
safety,  but  about  the  middle  of  December  Korovin 
received  warning  that  a  large  force  of  natives  was 
marching  toward  the  ship  with  hostile  designs.  The 
Russian  commander  at  once  called  his  men  under  arms 


tlOa .^:_^:.__. 

Scene  of  Conflict. 

and  kept  a  strict  watch.  The  following  day  about 
seventy  savages  made  their  appearance  carrying  bun- 
dles of  sea-otter  skins  in  order  to  throw  the  promysh- 
leniki  oflp  their  guard;  but  Korovin  would  allow  only 
ten  of  them  to  approach  his  house  at  the  same  time. 
The  savages  perceiving  that  their  design  was  known, 
and  that  suriprise  had  become  impossible,  disposed  of 
their  furs  quietly  and  retreated.  On  the  same  even- 
mg,  however,  three  natives  of  Kamchatka  came  to 
the  house  in  a  great  fright,  reporting  that  they  be- 


longed  to  Kulkof  s  ship,  that  is  to  say  Drushinnin's 
party,  and  that  the  vessel  had  been  destroyed  and  all 
their  comrades  killed. 

The  promyshleniki,  now  thoroughly  alarmed,  pre- 
pared for  defence.  After  remaining  unmolested  for 
two  days,  a  large  force  attacked  and  besieged  them 
closely  for  four  days,  during  which  time  two  Russians 
were  killed  with  arrows,  and  five  natives  were  counted 
dead  on  the  field.  On  the  fifth  day  the  enemy  re- 
treated to  a  cave  near  by,  keeping  up,  however,  a 
vigilant  blockade,  and  making  it  dangerous  to  proceed 
any  distance  from  the  house.  Worn  out  with  con- 
stant watching  and  firing,  Korovin  at  last  concluded 
to  bury  his  iron,  the  article  most  coveted  by  the 
savages,  and  his  stores  of  blubber  and  oil  under  the 
house,  and  to  retreat  to  the  ship.  His  plan  was  car- 
ried out,  and  the  ship  anchored  within  a  short  distance 
of  the  shore.  The  danger  of  sudden  attack  was  thus 
lessened,  but  hunger  and  the  scurvy  were  there  as 
relentless  as  the  savages.  At  length,  on  the  26th  of 
April,  reenforced  by  the  three  fugitives  from  Dru- 
shinnin's command,  Korovin  put  to  sea,  but  so  reduced 
was  his  crew  that  the  ship  could  scarcely  be  worked. 
During  a  gale  on  the  28th  the  unfortunate  promy- 
shleniki were  wrecked  in  a  cove  on  Umnak  Island. 
Several  of  the  sick  died  or  were  drowned,  and  eight 
of  the  hostages  made  their  escape.  The  arms,  am- 
munition, some  sails,  and  a  few  sea-lion  skins  were  all 
that  could  be  saved,  A  temporary  shelter  and  fortifi- 
cation was  constructed  of  empty  casks,  sails,  and  skins, 
where  the  remaining  sixteen,  including  three  disabled 
by  scurvy,  the  three  hostages,  and  the  faithful  inter- 
preter, Kashmak,  hoped  to  secure  some  rest  before 
beginning  a  new  struggle.  Their  hope  was  in  vain. 
During  the  first  night  a  large  party  of  savages  ap- 
proached stealthily  from  the  sea  and  when  within  a 
few  yards  of  the  miserable  encampment  discharged 
their  spears  and  arrows  with  terrible  efiect,  piercing 
the  tent  and  the  barricade  of  sea-lion  skins  in  many 


places.  Two  of  the  Russians  and  the  three  hostages 
were  killed,  and  all  the  other  Russians  severely 

The  onslaught  was  so  sudden  that  there  was  no 
time  to  get  ready  the  fire-arms,  but  Korovin  with  four 
of  the  least  disabled  seized  their  lances  and  made  a 
sortie,  killing  two  of  the  savages  and  driving  away 
the  remainder.  Covered  with  wounds,  the  five  brave 
men  returned  to  their  comrades,  now  thoroughly  dis- 
heartened. In  the  mean  time  the  gale  had  continued 
unabated,  breaking  up  the  stranded  vessel  and  scat- 
tering the  cargo  upon  the  beach.  Soon  after  day- 
light the  natives  returned  to  resume  the  work  of 
plunder,  the  Russians  being  too  feeble  to  interfere. 
They  carried  off  what  booty  they  could  and  remained 
away  two  days,  during  which  time  such  of  the  wounded 
promyshleniki  as  were  still  able  to  move  about  picked 
up  what  fragments  of  provisions  and  furs  the  savages 
had  left,  also  a  small  quantity  of  iron.^^  On  the  29th 
died  one  of  the  wounded  men,  who  was  also  suffer- 
ing from  scurvy.  Three  days  afterward  one  hundred 
and  fifty  islanders  approached  from  the  east  and  fired 
at  the  Russians  with  muskets,  but  the  bullets  fell  wide 
of  the  mark.^''  They  then  set  fire  to  the  dry  grass  in 
order  to  burn  out  the  fugitives.  A  constant  firing 
of  the  Russians,  however,  foiled  their  efforts,  and  at 
last  the  savages  retired.  The  victors  found  themselves 
in  such  a  state  of  prostration  that  they  remained  on 
the  same  spot  until  the  21st  of  July,  when  the  few 
survivors,  twelve  in  number,  six  of  whom  were  natives 
of  Kamchatka,  embarked  in  a  roughly  constructed 
bidar  in  search  of  Medvedef 's  party.  After  ten  days 
of  coasting  the  sufferers  arrived  at  a  place  where  the 
charred  remains  of  a  burned  vessel,  of  torn  garments, 
sails  and  rigging,  gave  evidence  of  another  disaster. 

"  Veniamiqf,  Zap.,  i.  132-4;  Sarychef,  Putesh.,  ii.  30. 

'*  A  portion  of  this  iron  was  set  aside  as  an  offering  to  the  shrine  of  the 
saint  whose  assistance  they  implored  in  their  distress.  Neue  Nachr.,  93-4. 

"  This  is  the  first  instance  recorded  of  the  iise  of  fire-arms  by  the  native 
Aleutians.  Neue  Nachr.,  95;  Sr/ibiicf,  in  Jllors/coi  Shomik,  c.  46. 


Filled  with  alarm  the  fugitives  landed  and  hastened 
up  to  a  house  which  had  escaped  destruction.  It  was 
empty,  but  in  an  adjoining  bath-house  twenty  dead 
bodies  were  found,  among  them  that  of  the  commander 
Medvedef.  There  was  some  indication  of  the  corpses 
having  been  dragged  to  the  spot  with  straps  and  belts 
tied  around  their  necks,  but  no  further  details  of  the 
catastrojihe  could  be  obtained,  and  not  a  soul  sur- 
vived to  tell  the  tale.^°  Necessity  compelled  Korovin 
to  remain  at  this  ghastly  spot,  and  preparations  were 
made  to  repair  the  house  for  the  approaching  winter, 
when  Stepan  Glottof,  who  in  the  mean  time  had  ar- 
rived on  the  other  side  of  Umnak  Island,  made  his 
appearance  with  eight  men.  The  so  lately  despairing 
promyshleniki  were  wild  with  joy,  and  forgetting  on 
the  instant  their  hunger  and  diseases,  they  planned 
further  ventures,  agreeing  with  Glottof  to  hunt  and 
trade  on  joint  account. 

The  voyage  of  Glottof,  covering  the  four  years 
from  1762  to  1765  inclusive,  was  by  far  the  most 
important  of  the  earlier  expeditions  to  the  islands, 
and  constitutes  an  epoch  in  the  swarming  of  the  pro- 

A  new  vessel  to  which  was  given  the  old  name  of 

Andreian  i  Natalia^^  was  built  in  the  Kamchatka  River 

by  Terentiy  Chebaievski,  Vassili  and  Ivan  Popof,  and 

Ivan  Lapin,  and  sailed  on  the  1st  of  October  1762, 

under  command  of  Glottof,  wintering  at  Copper  Isl- 

2°  Neue  Nachr.,  105;  Veniaminof,  Zap.,  i.  98;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  70. 

^^  Ship  nomenclature  in  Alaskan  waters  at  this  time  is  confusing.  St  Peter 
and  St  Paul  were  the  favorites,  but  there  were  other  names  continued  from 
one  ship  to  another,  and  the  same  name  was  even  given  to  two  ships  afloat  at 
the  same  time. 

^'^Sarychef,  Putesh.,  ii.  37.  During  the  winter  Yakof  Malevinskoi,  with  13 
men,  was  sent  to  Bering  Island  in  a  bidar  with  instructions  to  gather  up  what 
useful  material  still  remained  of  Bering's  vessel,  which  seems  to  have  been  a 
magazine  of  naval  stores  for  the  promyshleniki  for  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  cen- 
tury. Malevinskoi,  who  died  shortly  after  his  voyage  to  Bering  Island,  was 
very  successful  in  his  mission.  He  secured  between  eight  and  nine  hundred 
pounds  of  old  iron,  400  pounds  of  rigging  and  cable,  some  lead,  several  thou- 
sand strings  of  beads,  and  some  copper.  Ncue  Nachr.,  105.     For  a  time  the 


On  the  26th  of  July  1763  Glottof  again  put  to  sea, 
and  after  a  tedious  and  stormy  voyage  sighted  Um- 
nak  on  the  24th  of  August.  Having  previously 
visited  this  island  and  Unalaska,  whence  he  brought 
the  first  black  foxes  to  Kamchatka,  the  commander 
concluded  not  to  loiter  there,  but  to  sail  on  in  search 
of  new  discoveries.  Passing  eight  large  islands  and 
a  multitude  of  smaller  ones,  Glottof  finally  anchored 
on  the  8th  of  September  off  the  coast  of  a  large  and 
mountainous  island,  called  Kikhtak  by  the  natives, 
but  now  known  as  Kadiak.  The  first  meeting  of  the 
Russians  with  the  inhabitants  of  this  isle  was  not 
promising.  A  few  of  the  savages  approached  the 
ship  in  their  kyaks,  but  the  Aleut  interpreter,  Ivan 
Glottof,  a  godchild  of  the  commander,  could  not  con- 
verse with  them,  and  when  on  landing  some  habita- 
tions were  discovered,  they  were  found  to  be  deserted, 
A  few  days  later  a  party  came  to  the  Russian  camp 
with  an  Aleutian  boy  w^ho  had  been  captured  several 
years  before  during  a  hostile  descent  of  the  Kadiak 
people  upon  the  island  of  Sannakh,  and  through  him 
intercourse  was  held.  Glottof  endeavored  to  per- 
suade the  savages  to  pay  tribute  to  the  imperial  gov- 
ernment and  to  furnish  hostages,  but  they  refused. 
The  natives  here  were  of  fiercer  aspect,  more  intelli- 
gent and  manly,  and  of  finer  physique  than  those  of 

authorities  at  Kamchatka  had  forbidden  the  promyshleniki  to  visit  Copper 
Island,  under  the  impression  that  valuable  deposits  of  copper  were  located 
thei'e.  In  1755  Peter  Yakovlef,  a  mining  engineer,  was  ordered  to  the  island 
to  investigate  the  matter.  On  the  north-west  point,  where  the  native  copper 
had  been  repoi'ted  to  exist,  was  a  narrow  reef  of  rocks  some  20  or  30  fathoms 
in  width,  partially  covered  at  flood  tide,  but  Yakovlef  stated  that  he  could 
not  discover  any  indication  of  copper  there.  On  another  reef,  running  still 
farther  out  into  the  sea,  he  noticed  two  veins  of  reddish  and  greenish  appear- 
ance, but  the  metal  had  long  since  been  removed  with  the  aid  of  picks  and 
adzes.  At  the  foot  of  this  reef,  however,  he  found  pieces  of  copper  evidently 
smoothed  by  the  action  of  the  sea.  Captain  Krenitzin  in  1/68  reported  that 
much  copper  was  found  on  the  island,  that  it  was  washed  up  by  the  sea  in 
such  quantities  that  ships  could  be  loaded  with  it.  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  i.  253. 
The  author,  however,  remarks  that  at  the  time  of  his  writing,  17S0,  the  copper 
had  greatly  diminished  in  quantity  and  but  few  pieces  larger  than  a  bean 
could  be  found.  Zaikof,  another  navigator,  reported  about  the  same  time 
that  copper  was  washed  upon  the  beach,  but  that  one  of  the  promontories 
presented  every  appearance  of  a  copper-mine. 


the  more  western  isles.  At  first  they  would  not  even 
allow  the  interpreter  to  remain  temporarily  with  the 
Russians,  but  a  few  days  later  the  boy  made  his 
appearance  in  the  Russian  camp,  and  subsequently 
proved  of  great  service  to  his  new  patrons. '^^  Under 
such  circumstances  Glottof  deemed  it  best  not  to  dis- 
charge the  cargo,  but  to  keep  the  ship  moored  in  a 
bay  near  the  mouth  of  a  creek,  where  she  floated  at 
every  high  tide.  A  strict  watch  was  kept  night  and 
day.  Early  one  morning  a  large  body  of  armed 
islanders  crept  up  to  the  anchorage  unobserved,  and 
sent  a  shower  of  arrows  upon  the  Russian  sentinels 
hidden  behind  the  bulwarks  on  the  deck.  The  guards 
discharged  their  muskets,  and  the  deafening  sound 
sent  the  savages  scattering.  In  their  wild  alarm  they 
left  oil  the  ground  rude  ladders,  packages  of  sulphur, 
dried  moss,  and  birch  bark,  a  proof  of  their  intention 
to  fire  the  ship,  and  also  of  the  fact  that  the  Kadiak 
people  were  a  race  more  warlike  and  more  dangerous 
to  deal  with  than  the  Aleuts.  They  were  certainly 
fertile  in  both  offensive  and  defensive  devices;  for 
only  four  days  after  the  first  attack,  previous  to  which 
they  had  been  unacquainted  with  fire-arms,  they 
again  made  their  appearance  in  large  force,  and  pro- 
vided with  ingeniously  contrived  shields  of  wood  and 
wicker-work  intended  to  ward  oflP  the  Russian's  bullets. 
The  islanders,  however,  had  not  had  an  opportunity 
of  estimating  the  force  of  missiles  propelled  by  powder, 
for  the  Russians  had  purposely  fired  high  during  their 
attack,  and  another  rout  was  the  result  of  a  second 

The  defeated  enemy  allowed  three  weeks  to  pass  by 
without  molesting  the  intruders,  but  on  the  26th  of 
October  there  was  yet  another  attack.  The  elaborate 
preparations  now  made  showed  wonderful  ability  for 
savages.     Seven  large  portable  breastworks,  conceal- 

2'  This  boy  was  subsequently  taken  to  Kamchatka  and  baptized  under 
the  name  of  Alexander  Popof.  Neuc  Nachr.,  106;  Veniaminof,  Zap.,  i.  102. 
For  manners  and  customs  of  the  aborigines  see  Native  Races,  vols.  i.  and  iii. , 
this  series. 


ing  from  thirty  to  forty  warriors  each,  were  seen  ap- 
proaching the  vessel  early  one  morning,  and  when 
near  enough  spears  and  arrows  began  to  drop  like  hail 
upon  the  deck.  The  promyshleniki  replied  with  vol- 
ley after  volley  of  musketry,  but  this  time  the  shields 
appeared  to  be  bullet-proof  and  the  enemy  kept  on 
advancing  until,  as  a  last  resort,  Glottof  landed  a 
body  of  men  and  made  a  furious  charge  upon  the 
islanders,  who  were  growing  more  bold  and  defiant 
ever}^  moment.  This  unexpected  attack  had  the 
desired  effect,  and  after  a  brief  struo^sfle  the  savagfes 
dropped  their  shields  and  sought  safety  in  flight. 
The  result  of  this  third  battle  caused  the  natives  to 
despair  of  driving  off  the  Russians,  and  to  withdraw 
from  the  neighborhood.^* 

Deeming  it  dangerous  to  send  out  hunting  parties, 
Glottof  employed  his  men  in  constructing  a  house  of 
drift-wood  and  in  securing  a  good  supply  of  such  fish 
as  could  be  obtained  from  a  creek  and  a  lagoon  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  the  anchorage.  Late  in  Decem- 
ber two  natives  made  their  appearance  at  the  Russian 
camp.  They  held  a  long  parley  with  the  interpreter 
from  a  safe  distance,  and  finally  came  up  to  the  house. 
Kind  treatment  and  persuasion  seemed  to  have  no 
effect;  nor  did  presents  even;  instinctively  these  most 
intellectual  of  savages  felt  that  they  had  met  their 
fate.  They  went  away  with  some  trifling  gifts,  and 
not  another  native  was  seen  by  the  disappointed  Glot- 
tof till  April  of  the  following  year.  Four  men  then 
came  to  the  encampment  and  were  persuaded  to  sell 
some  fox-skins,  taking  glass  beads  in  payment.  Ah, 
the  vanity  of  humanity !  Cotton  and  woollen  goods 
had  no  attractions.  Ornament  before  dress.  They 
appeared  at  last  to  believe  in  Glottof's  professions  of 
friendship,  and  went  away  promising  to  persuade  their 
people  to  come  and  trade  with  the  Russians.     Shortly 

^*NeueNachr.,  109-10;  Berg,Khronol.  1st.,  66.  The  point  at  which  Glottof 
made  his  first  landing  was  near  the  southern  end  of  the  island,  probably  near 
the  present  village  of  Aiaklitalik. 


afterward  a  party  brought  fox  and  sea-otter  skins, 
accepting  glass  beads;  and  friendly  intercourse  ensued 
until  Glottof  was  ready  to  sail  from  the  locality,  where 
his  party  had  suffered  greatly  from  disease  without 
deriving  much  commercial  advantage. ^^ 

Glottof  felt  satisfied,  however,  that  he  was  near  to 
the  American  continent,  because  he  noticed  that  the 
natives  made  use  of  deer-skins  for  dress.  In  the  im- 
mediate vicinity  of  the  Russian  encampment  there  was 
no  timber,  but  the  natives  said  that  large  forests  grew 
in  the  northern  part  of  the  island. ^^ 

Through  Holmberg's  researches  in  Kadiak  we  pos- 
sess the  deposition  of  a  native  of  the  island,  which 
evidently  refers  to  Glottofs  sojourn  on  Kadiak. 
Holmberg  states  that  he  passed  two  days  in  a  hut 
on  the  south  side  of  the  island,  and  that  he  there 
listened  to  the  tales  of  an  old  man  named  Arsenti 
Aminak,  whom  he  designates  as  the  "only  speaking 
monument  of  pagan  times  on  Kadiak."  A  Creole 
named  Panfilof  served  as  interpreter,  and  Holmberg 
took  down  his  translation,  word  for  word,  as  follows: 
"  I  was  a  boy  of  nine  or  ten  years,  for  I  was  already 
set  to  paddle  in  a  bidarka,  when  the  first  Russian  ship 
with  two  masts  appeared  near  Cape  Aliulik.  Before 
that  time  we  had  never  seen  a  ship;  we  had  inter- 
course with  the  Aglegnutes  of  Aliaska  peninsula,  with 
the  Tnaianas  of  the  Kenai  peninsula,  and  wdth  the 
Koloshes;  and  some  wise  men  even  knew  something 
of  the  Californias;  but  ships  and  white  men  we  did 
not  know  at  all.  When  we  espied  the  ship  at  a  dis- 
tance we  thought  it  was  an  immense  whale,  and  were 
curious  to  have  a  better  look  at  it.  We  went  out  to 
sea  in  our  bidarkas,  but  soon  discovered  that  it  was  no 
whale,  but  another  unknown  monster  of  which  we  were 

^*  During  the  winter  the  scurvy  broke  out  among  the  crew  and  nine  Rus- 
sians died.  XeveNacJn:,  111;  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  6G;  Sa7-ychef,  Putesh.,  ii.  38. 

^*^0n  the  25th  of  April  Glottof  sent  Luka  Vtorushin,  with  11  men,  in 
search  of  material  to  make  hoops  for  water-casks;  he  returned  the  following 
day  with  a  supply,  and  reported  groves  of  alder  and  willow  at  a  distance  of 
about  30  miles.  Neue  Nadir.,  115. 


afraid,  and  the  smell  of  which  (tar  probably)  made  us 
sick.  The  people  on  the  ship  had  buttons  on  their 
clothes,  and  at  first  we  thought  they  must  be  cuttle- 
fish, but  when  we  saw  them  put  fire  into  their  mouth 
and  blow  out  smoke  we  knew  they  must  be  devils,  as 
we  did  not  know  tobacco  then.  The  ship  sailed  by  the 
island  of  Aiakhtalik,  one  of  the  Goose  Islands  at  the 
south  end  of  Kadiak,  where  then  a  large  village  was 
situated,  and  then  passed  by  the  Cape  Aliulik  (Cape 
Trinidad)  into  Kaniat  (Alitak)  Bay,  where  it  anch- 
ored and  lowered  the  boats.  We  followed  full  of  fear, 
and  at  the  same  time  curious  to  see  what  would 
become  of  the  strange  apparition,  but  we  did  not  dare 
to  approach  the  ship.  Among  our  people  there  was  a 
brave  warrior  named  Ishinik,  who  was  so  bold  that  he 
feared  nothing  in  the  world;  he  undertook  to  visit 
the  ship  and  came  back  with  presents  in  his  hand,  a 
red  shirt,  an  Aleut  hood,  and  some  glass  beads.  He 
said  there  was  nothing  to  fear,  '  they  only  wish  to  buy 
our  sea-otter  skins  and  to  give  us  glass  beads  and 
other  riches  for  them.'  We  did  not  fully  believe  his 
statement.  The  old  and  wise  people  held  a  council  in 
the  kashima,^'^  and  some  said :  '  Who  knows  what  sick- 
ness they  may  bring  us;  let  us  await  them  on  the 
shore,  then  if  they  give  us  a  good  price  for  our  skins 
we  can  do  business  afterward.' 

"  Our  people  formerly  were  at  war  with  the  Fox 
Island  people,  whom  we  called  Tayaoot.  My  father 
once  made  a  raid  upon  Unalaska  and  brought  back 
among  other  booty  a  little  girl  left  by  her  fleeing 
parents.  As  a  prisoner  taken  in  war  she  was  our 
slave,  but  my  father  treated  her  like  a  daughter,  and 
brought  her  up  with  his  other  children.  We  called 
her  Plioo,  which  means  ashes,  because  she  had  been 
taken  from  the  ashes  of  her  house.  On  the  Russian 
ship  which  came    from   Unalaska  there  were  many 

^''  A  large  building  where  the  men  work  in  the  winter,  and  also  used  for 
councils  and  festivities.     For  a  full  description  of  these  people  see  Native 
Races,  vol.  i.,  this  series. 
Hist.  Alaska.    10 


Aleuts  and  among  tliem  the  father  of  our  slave.  He 
came  to  my  father's  house,  and  when  he  saw  that  his 
daughter  was  not  kept  like  a  slave  but  was  well 
cared  for,  he  told  him  confidentially,  out  of  gratitude, 
that  the  Russians  would  take  the  sea-otter  skins  with- 
out payment  if  they  could.  This  warning  saved  my 
father,  who,  though  not  fully  beHeving  the  Aleut, 
acted  cautiously.  The  Russians  came  ashore  together 
with  the  Aleuts  and  the  latter  persuaded  our  people 
to  trade,  saying:  'Why  are  you  afraid  of  the  Rus- 
sians? Look  at  us,  we  live  with  them  and  they  do  us 
no  harm.'  Our  people,  dazzled  by  the  sight  of  such 
quantities  of  goods,  left  their  weapons  in  the  bidar 
and  went  to  the  Russians  with  their  sea-otter  skins. 
"While  they  were  busy  trading,  the  Aleuts,  who  car- 
ried arms  concealed  about  them,  at  a  signal  from  the 
Russians  fell  upon  our  people,  killing  about  thirty  and 
taking  away  their  sea-otter  skins.  A  few  men  had 
cautiously  watched  the  result  of  the  first  intercourse 
from  a  distance,  among  them  my  father.  These  at- 
tempted to  escape  in  their  bidarkas,  but  they  were 
overtaken  by  the  Aleuts  and  killed.  My  father  alone 
was  saved  by  the  father  of  his  slave,  who  gave  him 
his  bidarka  when  my  father's  own  had  been  pierced 
with  arrows  and  was  sinking.  In  this  bidarka  he  fled 
to  Akhiok.  My  father's  name  was  Penashigak.  The 
time  of  the  arrival  of  this  ship  was  the  month  of 
A.ugust,  as  the  whales  were  coming  into  the  bays  and 
the  berries  were  ripe.  The  Russians  remained  for 
the  winter,  but  could  not  find  sufficient  food  in  Kaniat 
Bay.  They  were  compelled  to  leave  the  ship  in  charge 
of  a  few  watchmen  and  moved  into  a  bay  opposite 
.  Aiakhtalik  Island.  Here  was  a  lake  full  of  herrings 
;  and  a  kind  of  smelt.  They  lived  in  tents  here  through 
\th.e  winter.  The  brave  Ishinik,  who  first  dared  to 
visit  the  ship,  was  liked  by  the  Russians  and  acted 
as  a  mediator.  When  the  fish  decreased  in  the  lake 
during  the  winter  the  Russians  moved  about  from 
village  to  village.    Whenever  we  saw  a  boat  coming  at 


a  distance  we  fled  to  the  hills,  and  when  we  returned 
no  ynkala  (dried  fish)  could  be  found  in  the  houses. 
In  the  lake  near  the  Russian  camp  there  was  a  poison- 
ous kind  of  starfish;  we  knew  it  very  well,  but  said 
nothing  about  it  to  the  Russians.  We  never  ate 
them,  and  even  the  gulls  would  not  touch  them; 
many  Russians  died  from  eating  them.  But  we  in- 
jured them  also  in  other  ways.  They  put  up  fox- 
traps  and  we  removed  them  for  the  sake  of  obtaining 
the  iron  material.  When  the  Russians  had  examined 
our  coast  they  left  our  island  during  the  following 

On  the  24th  of  May  Glottof  finally  left  Kadiak, 
and  passing  through  the  numerous  islands  lining  the 
south  coast  of  the  Alaska  peninsula  made  a  landing 
on  Umnak  with  the  intention  to  hunt  and  trade  in 
the  same  locality  which  he  had  previously  visited. 
When  the  ship  entered  the  well  known  bay  the  houses 
erected  by  the  promyshleniki  were  still  standing,  but 
no  sign  of  life  was  visible.  The  commander  hastened 
to  the  shore  and  soon  found  signs  of  death  and  de- 
struction. The  body  of  an  unknown  Russian  was 
there;  Glottof 's  own  house  had  been  destroyed,  and 
another  building  erected  near  by.^^ 

On  the  5th  of  July  an  exploring  party  of  sixteen 
discovered  the  remains  of  Medvedef's  ship,  and  the 
still  unburied  bodies  of  its  crew.  Upon  consultation 
it  was  decided  to  take  steps  at  once  to  ascertain 
whether  any  survivors  of  the  disaster  were  to  be 
found  on  the  island.    On  the  7th  of  July  some  natives 

^^  This  narrative  of  which  we  have  given  above  only  the  portion  relating  to 
Glottof 's  visit,  coming  as  it  does  from  the  mouth  of  an  eye-witness,  is  interest- 
ing, but  it  is  somewhat  difficult  to  determine  its  historical  value,  as  it  is  im- 
possible to  locate  or  identify  all  the  various  incidents.  The  first  part  evidently 
refers  to  the  landing  of  Glottof,  though  there  is  a  wide  discrepancy  between 
the  latter's  account  and  that  of  Arsenti  Aminak;  in  his  estimate  of  time  the 
latter  is  certainly  mistaken  and  he  does  not  mention  the  hostile  encounters 
between  natives  and  Russians  related  by  Glottof.  He  also  ascribes  the  mor- 
tality among  the  invaders  to  the  consumption  of  poisonous  iish  instead  of  to 
the  actual  cause,  the  ravages  of  scorbutic  disease.  Holmhenj,  Ethnographische 
Shizzen;  Sarydief,  Putesh.,  ii.  42-3;  Grewingk  Beitr.,  316. 

'^'Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  70;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  i.  276. 


approaclied  the  vessel  and  endeavored  to  persuade 
Glottof  to  land  with  only  two  men,  for  the  purpose 
of  trading,  displaying  at  the  same  time  a  large  number 
of  sea-otter  skins  on  the  beach.  When  they  found 
that  their  devices  did  not  succeed,  they  retreated  to> 
a  distance  and  began  to  fire  with  muskets  at  the  ship, 
without,  however,  doing  any  damage.  Later  in  the 
day  a  few  natives  came  off  in  their  canoes  and  pad- 
dled round  the  ship.  As  Glottof  was  desirous  of  ob- 
taining; information  concerninof  the  recent  occurrences 
on  the  island,  the  bold  natives  were  not  molested,  and 
finally  one  of  them  ventured  on  board  the  ship,  par- 
taking of  food,  and  told  freely  all  that  had  happened 
since  Glottof's  visit,  hinting  also  at  the  existence  of 
Korovin's  small  party  in  some  part  of  the  island. 
He  acknowledged  that  it  had  been  the  intention  of 
the  natives  to  kill  Glottof  after  enticing  him  to  land, 
imagining  that  they  would  have  no  difficulty  in  deal- 
ing with  the  crew  after  the  leader  was  despatched. 
After  a  vain  attempt  to  find  Korovin's  camp,  some 
natives  advised  the  Russians  to  cross  the  island  to 
the  opposite  side,  where  they  would  find  their  country- 
men engaged  in  building  a  house  beside  a  brook.  The 
information  proved  correct,  and  the  hearts  of  Korovin 
and  his  men  were  soon  gladdened  b}?-  the  appearance 
of  their  countrymen. 

Glottof  evidently  did  not  intend  to  feed  the  addi- 
tional members  in  idleness.  In  a  few  days  he  sent 
out  Korovin  with  twenty  men  in  a  bidar  to  reconnoi- 
tre the  coast  of  Umnak  and  search  for  fugitive  Rus- 
sians who  might  have  survived  the  various  massacres. 
For  a  long  time  he  could  find  no  living  soul,  Russian 
or  native;  but  at  last,  in  September,  he  fell  in  with 
some  parties  of  the  latter.  They  greeted  the  Rus- 
sians with  musket-shots,  and  would  not  listen  to 
overtures.  At  various  places  where  Korovin  at- 
tempted to  stop  to  hunt  the  natives  opposed  his 
landing,  and  engagements  ensued.  At  the  place  of 
the  massacre  of  Barnashef  and  his  crew,  his  bidar 


and  the  remains  of  his  cargo  were  found,  and  a  few 
women  and  boys  who  Hngered  about  the  place  were 
taken  prisoners  and  questioned  as  to  the  details  of 
the  bloody  episode. 

Later  in  the  winter  Korovin  was  sent  out  again 
with  a  party  of  men  and  the  Aleut  interpreter,  Ivan 
Glottof  They  proceeded  to  the  western  end  of  Un- 
alaska  and  there  learned  from  the  natives  that  a  Rus- 
sian vessel  commanded  by  Solovief  was  anchored  in 
one  of  the  harbors  of  that  island.  Korovin  at  once 
shaped  his  course  for  the  point,  but  reached  it  only 
after  several  sharp  engagements  with  the  natives, 
inflicting  severe  loss  upon  them.  He  remained  with 
Solofief  three  days  and  then  returned  to  the  scene  of 
his  last  encounter  with  the  natives,  who  seemed  to 
have  benefited  by  the  lesson  administered  by  Korovin, 
being  quite  tractable  and  willing  to  trade  and  assist 
in  hunting.  Before  the  end  of  the  year  the  deep- 
rooted  hatred  of  the  Russian  intruders  again  came  to 
the  surface,  and  the  hunters  concluded  to  return  to 
the  ship.  On  the  passage  from  Unalaska  to  Umnak 
they  had  two  engagements  and  were  finally  wrecked 
upon  the  latter  island.  As  it  was  midwinter  they 
were  forced  to  remain  there  till  the  6th  of  April  fol- 
lowing, subject  to  the  greatest  privations.  After 
another  tedious  voyage  along  the  coast  the  party  at 
last  rejoined  Glottof  with  a  small  quantity  of  furs 
as  the  result  of  the  season's  work.  On  account  of 
Korovin's  failures  in  hunting,  Glottof  and  his  part- 
ners declared  the  agreement  with  them  void.  The 
brave  leader,  whose  indomitable  courage  alone  had  car- 
ried his  companions  through  an  appalling  succession  of 
disasters,  certainly  deserved  better  treatment.  The 
Kamchatkans  belongino^  to  his  former  crew  entered 
Glottof  s  service ;  but  five  Russians  concluded  to  cast 
their  lots  with  him.  In  June  they  found  Solovief, 
who  willingly  received  them  into  his  company,  and  in 
his  vessel  they  finally  reached  Kamchatka. ^° 

^"  The  vessel  commanded  by  Solovief  was  owned  by  Ouledovaki,  a  mer- 


Solovief  had  been  fortunate  in  his  voyage  from 
Kamchatka  to  Umnak,  passing  along  the  Aleutian 
isles  with  as  much  safety  and  despatch  as  a  trained 
sea-captain  could  have  done,  provided  with  all  the 
instruments  of  modern  nautical  science.  In  less  than 
a  month,  a  remarkably  quick  passage  for  those  days, 
he  sighted  the  island  of  Umnak,  but  finding  no  con- 
venient anchorage  he  went  to  Unalaska. 

A  few  natives  who  still  remembered  Solovief  from 
his  former  visit,  came  to  greet  the  new  arrivals  and 
informed  them  of  the  cruel  fate  that  had  befallen 
Medvedef  and  his  companions.  The  Cossack  Kore- 
nef  was  ordered  to  reconnoitre  the  northern  coast  of 
the  island  with  a  detachment  of  twenty  men.  He 
reported  on  his  return  that  he  had  found  only  three 
vacant  habitations  of  the  natives,  but  some  fragments 
of  Russian  arms  and  clothing  led  him  to  suspect  that 
some  of  his  countrymen  had  suffered  at  the  hands  of 
the  savages  in  that  vicinity.  In  the  course  of  time 
Solovief  managed  to  obtain  from  the  natives  detailed 
accounts  of  the  various  massacres.  The  recital  of 
cruelties  committed  inflamed  his  passions,  and  he 
resolved  to  avenge  the  murder  of  his  countrymen. 
His  first  care,  however,  was  to  establish  himself  firmly 
on  the  island  and  to  introduce  order  and  discipline 
among  his  men.  He  adhered  to  his  designs  with 
great  persistency  and  unnecessary  cruelty.^^ 

chant  of  Irkutsk.  It  was  the  Sv  Pctr  i  Sv  Pavel  which  we  have  so  often 
met ;  it  had  sailed  from  the  mouth  of  the  Kamchatka  river  on  the  24th  of 
August  1764.  Ber<j,  Khronol.  1st.,  73. 

''^Berg,  while  faithfully  relating  the  cruelties  perpetrated  by  Solovief, 
seems  to  have  been  inclined  to  palliate  his  ci'inies.  He  says:  '  A  quiet  citizen 
and  friend  of  mankind  reading  of  these  doings  will  perhaps  execrate  the 
terrible  Solovief  and  call  him  a  barbarous  destroyer  of  men,  but  he  would 
change  his  opinion  on  learning  that  after  this  period  of  terrible  punishment, 
the  inhabitants  of  the  Aleutian  Islands  never  again  dared  to  make  another 
attack  upon  the  Prussians.  Would  he  not  acknowledge  that  such  measures 
were  necessary  for  the  safety  of  future  voyagers?  Curious  to  know  how 
Solovief  succeeded  in  his  enterprise,  and  how  he  was  situated  subsequently, 
I  questioned  Ivan  Savich  Lapin  concerning  his  fate,  and  received  the  follow- 
ing answer:  His  many  fortunate  voyages  brought  him  great  profits,  but  as 
he  was  a  shiftless  man  and  rather  dissipated  in  his  habits,  he  expended  dur- 
ing every  winter  passed  at  Okhotsk  or  in  Kamchatka  the  earnings  of  three 
years  of  hardships,  setting  out  upon  every  new  voyage  with  nothing  but  debts 


Solovief  had  not  quite  finished  his  preparations 
when  the  savage  islanders,  made  bold  by  frequent 
victories,  attempted  the  first  attack,  an  unfortunate 
one  for  the  Aleuts.  The  promyshleniki,  who  were 
ready  for  the  fray  at  any  moment,  on  this  occasion 
destroyed  a  hundred  of  their  assailants  on  the  spot, 
and  broke  up  their  bidars  and  temporary  habitations. 
With  this  victory  Solovief  contented  himself  until 
he  was  reenforced  by  Korovin,  Kokovin,  and  a  few 
others,  when  he  divided  his  force,  leaving  half  to 
guard  the  ship  while  with  the  others  he  set  out  in 
search  of  the  ''blood-thirsty  natives,"  who  had  de- 
stroyed Drushinnin  and  Medvedef 

The  bloodshed  perpetrated  by  this  band  of  avengers 
was  appalling.  A  majority  of  all  the  natives  con- 
nected with  the  previous  attacks  on  the  Russians  paid 
with  their  lives  for  presuming  to  defend  their  homes 
against  invaders.  Being  informed  that  three  hundred 
of  the  natives  had  assembled  in  a  fortified  village, 
Solovief  marched  his  force  to  the  spot.  At  first  the 
Russians  were  greeted  with  showers  of  arrows  from 
every  aperture,  but  when  the  natives  discovered  that 
bullets  came  flying  in  as  fast  as  arrows  went  out,  they 
closed  the  openings,  took  down  the  notched  posts 
serving  as  ladders,  and  sat  down  to  await  their  fate. 
Unwilling  to  charge  upon  the  dwellings,  and  seeing 
that  he  could  not  do  much  injury  to  the  enemy  as 
long  as  they  remained  within,  Solovief  managed  to 
place  bladders  filled  with  powder  under  the  log  foun- 
dation of  the  structure,  which  was  soon  blown  into  the 
air.  Many  of  the  inmates  survived  the  explosion  only 
to  be  despatched  by  the  promyshleniki  with  muskets 
and  sabres.  ^^ 

behind  him.  He  lost  his  life  in  the  most  miserable  manner  at  Okhotsk.' 
Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  75-6.  Among  his  companions  Solovief  acquired  the 
nickname  of  'Oushasnui  Soloviy,'  the  'terrible  nightingale,'  a  play  upon  his 
name,  Solovey  being  the  Russian  for  nightingale.  Baerand  Wrangell,  Riissische 
Besitzimgen,  192. 

^'i  Davidof  states  that  Solovief  put  to  death  3,000  Aleuts  (?)  during  this 
campaign.  Dvulcr.  Purtesh.,  ii.  108.  Berg  writes  on  the  authority  of  Lapin  that 
'only '200  were  killed.  Khronol.  1st.,  75.  Veniaminof  discusses  the  deeds 
of  Solovief  and  his  companions  in  a  dispassionate  way,  relying  mainly  on 


At  the  end  of  his  crusade,  Solovief,  having  suc- 
ceeded in  subjugating  the  natives,  estabHshed  '  friendly 
intercourse'  with  them.  A  few  of  the  chiefs  of  Una- 
laska  tendered  their  submission.  During  the  winter 
his  men  suffered  from  scurvy,  and  many  died.^  Ob- 
serving which  the  savages  regained  courage  and  be- 
gan to  revolt.  The  people  of  Makushin  village  were 
the  most  determined,  but  Solovief  managed  to  en- 
trap the  chief,  who  confessed  that  he  had  intended 
to  overpower  the  Russians  and  burn  their  ship.  In 
June  two  more  of  the  scurvy-stricken  crew  died,  and 
Solovief  was  only  too  glad  to  accept  of  the  offer  of 
Korovin  and  his  companions,  who  had  only  just  ar- 
rived, to  join  his  expedition.  The  Cossack  Shevyrin 
died  on  the  third  of  August  and  another  Russian  in 

Late  in  the  autumn  Solovief  again  despatched 
Korenef  with  a  detachment  of  promyshleniki  to  the 
northern  part  of  the  island.  He  did  not  return  until 
the  30th  of  January  17G6,  and  was  immediately  or- 
dered out  again  to  explore  the  west  coast.  During 
the  first  days  of  February  a  young  Aleut  named 
Kyginik,  a  son  of  the  chief,  came  voluntarily  into  the 
Russian  camp  and  requested  to  be  baptized,  and  to  be 
permitted  to  remain  with  the  promyshleniki.  His 
wish  was  willingly  complied  with,  and  if  the  promysh- 
leniki claimed  a  miracle  as  the  cause  of  the  action,  I 
should  acquiesce.     Nothing  but  the  mighty  power  of 

what  he  heard  by  word  of  mouth  from  Aleut  eye-witnesses  of  the  \ariou3 
transactions.  He  accused  Berg  of  attempting  to  make  Solovief's  career  • 
appear  less  criminal  and  repulsive,  and  declares  that  '  nearly  a  century  has 
elapsed  since  that  period  of  terror,  and  there  is  no  reason  for  concealing  what 
was  done  by  the  first  promyshleniki,  or  for  palliating  or  glorifying  their  cruel 
outrages  upon  the  Aleuts. '  He  had  no  desire  to  enlarge  upon  the  great  crimes 
committed  by  ignorant  and  unrestrained  meu,  especially  when  they  were  his 
countrymen;  but  his  work  would  not  be  done  if  he  failed  to  tell  what  people 
had  seen  of  the  doings  of  Solovief  and  his  companions.  Veniaminof  stated 
on  what  he  calls  good  authoritj',  that  Solovief  experimented  on  the  penetra- 
tive power  of  musket-balls  by  tying  12  Aleutians  together  and  discharging  his 
rifle  at  them  at  short  range;  report  has  it  that  the  bullets  lodged  in  the  ninth 
man.  Zap.,  ii.  101. 

^'  One  died  in  February,  five  in  March  and  April,  and  six  in  May;  all  these 
•were  Russians  with  the  exception  of  one,  a  Kamchatkan.  Neue  Nachr.,  141. 

^*  Neue  Nachr.,  143. 


God  could  have  saDctified  the  heart  of  this  benighted 
one  under  these  bright  examples  of  Christianity.  In 
May  Solovief  began  his  preparations  for  departure,  col- 
lecting and  packing  his  furs  for  the  voyage  and  repair- 
ing his  vessel.  He  sailed  the  1st  of  June  and  reached 
Kamchatka  the  5th  of  July.^^ 

At  Okhotsk  there  was  great  disorder,  amounting 
almost  to  anarchy,  under  the  administration  of  Cap- 
tain Zybin,  up  to  1754,  when  the  latter  was  relieved 
by  Captain  Nilof,  who  subsequently  became  known 
and  lost  his  life  during  the  famous  convict  revolt  of 
XamclKitka  under  the  leadership  of  Benyovski.^'^  In 
1761  Major  Plenisner  was  appointed  to  the  command 
of  Kamchatka  for  five  years;  he  held  this  position  until 
relieved  by  Nilof  ^'^ 

In  1765  a  new  company  was  formed  by  Lapin, 
Shilof,  and  Orekhof,  the  latter  a  gunsmith  from  Tula. 
They  built  two  vessels  at  Okhotsk,  naming  them  after 
those  excessively  honored  apostles  the  Sv  Petr  and  the 
Sv  Pavel,  and  crossed  over  to  Bolsheretsk,  where  they 
remained  till  August.^^  The  Sv  Petr  was  commanded 
by  Tolstykh  and  carried  a  crew  of  forty-nine  Rus- 
sians, twelve  natives  of  Kamchatka,  and  two  Aleuts. 
Acting  under  tlie  old  delusion  that  there  must  be  land 
somewhere  to  the  southward,  Tolstykh  steered  in  that 
direction,  but  after  a  fruitless  cruise  of  two  months 
he  concluded  to  make  the  port  of  Petropavlovsk  to 
winter;  but  on  the  2d  of  October  in  attempting  to 
anchor  near  Cape  Skipunskoi,  in  a  gale,  the  vessel  was 
cast  upon  the  rocks  and  broken  in  pieces.^'' 

"^  The  cargo  collected  during  this  murderous  expedition  consisted  of  500 
black  foxes  and  500  sea-otters,  a  portion  of  the  latter  having  been  brought 
into  the  joint  company  by  Korovin  and  his  companions.  Neite  Nachr.,  146. 

^'^ Morshol  Sbornil;  cv.  40;  Sijibnef,  in  Id.,  cii.  76. 

^'  Plenisner  was  to  receive  double  pay  while  in  command,  and  he  was  in- 
structed to  send  out  the  naval  lieutenant  Synd  with  two  ships  to  explore  the 
American  coast,  and  also  to  send  another  exijedition  to  explore  the  Kurile 
Islands.  Sgibnef,  in  Morsl:oi  Shornik,  cii.  .37-8. 

^*  The  authorities  of  Bolsheretsk  asserted  that  the  party  sailed  only  after  all 
the  liquor  obtained  for  the  voyage  had  been  drank.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  76-7. 

^^  Neue  Nachr.,  49.  Berg  mentions  that  in  this  wreck  only  three  out  of  a 
crew  of  63  were  saved,  but  he  does  not  state  whether  Tolstykh  was  among 
the  survivors. 


The  Sv  Pavel  was  commanded  by  Master  Afanassly 
Ocheredin,  and  carried  a  crew  of  sixty  men.  Sailing 
from  Bolsheretsk  the  1st  of  August  they  steered  for 
the  farther  Aleutian  Isles,  and  w^ent  into  winter- 
quarters  the  1st  of  September  in  a  bay  of  Umnak.. 
At  first  the  natives  were  friendly,  but  as  soon  as^ 
tribute  was  demanded  intercourse  ceased  for  the  win- 
ter, and  the  Russians  suffered  greatly  from  hunger 
and  disease.  Scarcely  had  the  promyshleniki  begun 
to  overcome  the  dread  disease  in  the  spring,  with  the 
help  of  anti-scorbutic  plants,  when  Ocheredin  sent  out 
detachments  to  demand  tribute  of  the  natives.  In 
August  1767  a  peredovchik  named  Poloskof,  was 
despatched  with  twenty-eight  men  in  two  boats  to 
hunt.  Having  heard  of  the  massacre  of  Medvedef 
and  Korovin,  he  passed  by  Unalaska  and  estab- 
lished himself  at  Akutan,  distributing  small  detach- 
ments of  hunters  over  the  neighboring  islands.  In 
the  following  January  he  was  attacked  and  four  of  his 
men  killed.  Onslaughts  were  made  by  the  natives  at 
the  same  time  upon  Ocheredin's  vessel  and  another 
craft  commanded  by  Popof,  who  was  then  trading  at 
Unalaska.  In  August  Poloskof  rejoined  Ocheredin, 
and  their  operations  were  continued  until  1770.*'' 

Ocheredin's  share  of  the  proceeds  was  600  sea- 
otters,  756  black  foxes,  1,230  red  foxes;  and  with  this 
rich  cargo  he  arrived  at  Okhotsk  on  the  24th  of 
July  1770.*^  The  partners  in  this  enterprise  received 
in  addition  to  a  large  return  on  their  investment 
gracious  acknowledgments  from  the  imperial  govern- 
ment.    In  1764,  when  the  first  black  fox-skins  had 

*°  In  the  month  of  September  1768  Ocheredin  was  notified  by  Captain 
Levashef,  of  the  Krenitzin  expedition,  to  transfer  to  him  (Levashef)  all  the 
tribute  collected.  With  an  armed  vessel  anchored  in  Kapiton  Bay,  Popof 
and  Ocheredin  met  with  no  further  opposition  from  the  natives.  Unalaska 
to  the  south-west  of  the  Alaska  peninsula.  On  Cook's  atlas,  1778,  written 
Ooualaslca;  La  P^rouse,  1736,  Ouimlaska;  Sut'd  y  Mex.,  Viage,  I.  Unalaska; 
Holmberg,  /.  Unalaschka.  Carton.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  454. 

*^  Berij,  Khronol.  1st.,  app.  Two  natives  of  the  island,  Alexei  Solovief 
and  Boris  Ocheredin,  were  taken  to  Okhotsk  on  the  Sv  Pavel  with  the  inten- 
tion of  sending  them  to  St  Petersburg,  but  both  died  of  consumption  on  their 
joui'ney  through  Siberia.  Neue  Nachr.,  162-3. 


been  forwarded  to  the  empress,  gold  medals  were 
awarded  to  the  merchants  Orekhof,  Kulkof,  Shapkin, 
Panof,  and  Nikoforof.  Desirous  of  obtaining  a  more 
detailed  account  of  the  doings  of  her  subjects  in  the  far 
east,  Catherine  ordered  to  be  sent  to  St  Petersburg  one 
of  the  traders,  promising  to  pay  his  expenses.  When 
this  order  reached  Okhotsk  only  one  merchant  engaged 
in  the  island  trade  could  be  found,  Yassili  Shilof  He 
was  duly  despatched  to  the  imperial  court,  and  on 
arriving  at  St  Petersburg  was  at  once  granted  an 
interview  by  the  empress,  who  questioned  him  closely 
upon  the  locality  of  the  new  discoveries,  and  the  mode 
of  conducting  the  traffic.  The  empress  was  much 
pleased  with  the  intelligent  answers  of  Shilof,  who 
exhibited  a  map  of  his  own  making,  representing  the 
Aleutian  Islands  from  Bering  to  Amlia,  This  the 
empress  ordered  to  be  deposited  in  the  admiralty 

Three  other  vessels  were  despatched  in  1766-7,  but 
of  their  movements  we  have  but  indefinite  records. 
The  Vladimir,  owned  by  Krassilnikof  and  commanded 
by  Soposhnikof,  sailed  in  1766,  and  returned  from  the 
Near  Islands  with  1,400  sea-otters,  2,000  fur-seals, 
and  1,050  blue  foxes.     In  the  following  year  the  Sv 

*'^  In  the  Shurnal  Admiralttiestv  Kollegiy,  under  date  of  Feb.  5,  1767,  the 
following  entry  can  be  found:  '  The  Oustioushk  mercliant,  Shilof,  laid  before 
the  college,  in  illustration  of  his  voyages  to  the  Kamchatka  Islands,  a  chart 
on  which  their  location  as  far  as  known  is  laid  down.  He  also  gave  satisfac- 
tory verbal  explanations  concerning  their  inhabitants  and  resources.  The 
college  having  inspected  and  examined  this  chart  and  compared  it  with  the 
one  compiled  by  Captain  Chirikof,  at  the  wish  and  will  expressed  by  Her 
Imperial  Majesty,  and  upon  careful  consideration,  present  most  respectfully 
the  following  report:  The  college  deems  the  report  of  Shilof  concerning  navi- 
gation and  trade  insufficient  for  official  consideration,  and  in  many  respects 
contradictory;  especially  the  chart,  which  does  not  agree  in  many  important 
points  with  other  charts  in  the  hands  of  the  college;  and  moreover  it  could 
not  be  expected  to  be  correct,  being  compiled  by  a  person  knowing  nothing 
of  the  science  and  rules  of  navigation.  On  the  other  hand,  as  far  as  this 
document  is  concerned  we  must  commend  the  spirit  which  instigated  its  con- 
ception and  induced  the  author  to  undergo  hardships  and  dangers  in  extend- 
ing the  navigation  and  trade  of  Russia.  And  we  find  in  it  the  base  upon 
which  to  build  further  investigation  and  discoveries  of  unknown  countries, 
which  well  deserves  the  approbation  of  our  most  Gracious  Imperial  Majesty.' 
Two  imperial  oukazes  were  issued,  dated  respectively  April  19  and  Aj^ril  20, 
1767,  granting  Shilof  and  Lapin  exemption  from  military  duty  and  conferring 
upon  each  a  gold  medal  for  services  rendered.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  70-2. 


Petr  i  Sv  Pavel,  owned  by  the  brothers  Panof,  sailed, 
and  returned  after  a  cruise  of  three  years  with  a  very 
rich  cargo  composed  of  5,000  sea-otters  and  1,100  blue 
foxes.  The  loann  Oustioushki,  owned  by  Ivan  Popof, 
made  two  voyages  between  1767  and  1770,  returning 
the  second  time  with  3,000  sea-otters,  1,663  black 
foxes,  230  cross  foxes,  1,025  red  foxes,  and  1,162  blue 
foxes.^^  The  merchants  Poloponissof  and  Popof  also 
sent  out  a  ship  in  1767,  the  Joann  Predtecha,  which 
returned  after  an  absence  of  five  years  with  60  sea- 
otters,  6,300  fur-seals,  and  1,280  blue  foxes.**  This 
ends  the  list  of  private  enterprises  prior  to  the  resump- 
tion of  exploration  by  the  imperial  government. 

*^  The  cargo  as  given  by  Berg  seems  extraordinarily  large,  and  it  is  probable 
that  the  Panof  expedition  consisted  of  two  vessels,  for  Sgibnef  states  that  a 
ship-builder  named  Bubnof  constructed  in  1767  two  vessels,  the  galiot  Sv 
Pavel,  56  feet  long,  at  a  cost  of  5,737  rubles;  and  the  galiot  Sv  Petr,  of  the 
same  length,  19  feet  beam  and  9  feet  depth  of  hold,  at  a  cost  of  6,633  rubles. 
The  rigging  for  these  ships  was  brouglit  from  Tobolsk,  and  500  pounds  of 
iron  were  carried  all  the  way  from  Arkhangel,  being  two  years  en  route. 
Sgibnef,  in  Morskoi  Shornih,  cv.  47-8.  According  to  Capt.  Shmalef  the  loann 
Ouslioushfiki  made  a  third  prosperous  trip  from  which  she  returned  in  1772  with 
a  cargo  yielding  a  net  profit  of  1,000  rubles  to  each  share.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st., 
83;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitrage,  i.  276;  Sarychef  Putesh.,  ii.  37. 

^^  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  app.;  Grewingk,  Beitrage,  315. 




Synd's  Voyage  in  Beking  Strait— St^hlin's  Peculiar  Report— The 
Grand  Government  Expedition — Promotions  and  Rewards  on  the 
Strength  of  Prospective  Achievements— Catherine  is  Sure  of  Di- 
vine Favor — Very  Secret  Instructions — Heavy  Cost  of  the  Expe- 
dition—  The  Long  Journey  to  Kamchatka  —  Dire  Misfortunes 
There — Results  of  the  Effort — Death  of  the  Commander— Jour- 
nals AND  Reports — More  Mercantile  Voyages — The  Ships  'Sv 
Nikolai,'  'Sv  Andrei,'  'Sv  Prokop,'  and  Others — The  Free  and 
Easy  ZaTkof— His  Luck. 

I  WILL  briefly  mention  here  a  voyage  by  a  lieuten- 
ant of  the  imperial  navy  named  Synd,  or  Syndo, 
though  there  is  no  proof  of  his  having  touched  any 
part  of  Alaska.  Under  orders  of  Saimonof,  then 
governor  of  Siberia,  Lieutenant  Synd,  who  had  been 
one  of  the  youngest  companions  of  Bering,  sailed  from 
Okhotsk  in  1764,  upon  a  voyage  of  discovery  in  the 
direction  of  Bering  Strait,  in  a  vessel  called  by  way  of 
variety  the  Sv  Pavel.  During  the  first  season  Synd 
did  not  get  beyond  the  mouth  of  the  Kharinzof  Biver 
on  the  west  coast  of  Kamchatka  in  the  vicinity  of 
Tigil.  His  craft  proved  unseaworthy;  and  after  win- 
tering at  his  first  anchorage  he  sailed  again  in  June 
1765,  in  the  ship  Sv  Ekaterina,  and  wintered  at  the 
Ouka  Biver  a  little  to  the  southward  of  Karagin 
Island.^  He  sailed  northward  the  following  year, 
reached  the  vicinity  of  Bering  Strait  within  a  month, 
dotting  down  upon  his  chart  as  he  moved  along  a 

^Zap.Hydr.,x.  70-3. 



multitude  of  imaginary  islands  extending  up  to  lati- 
tude 64°  59',  and  reported  a  mountainous  coast  not  far 
from  the  land  of  the  Chukchi,"  between  latitude  64° 
and  66°,  which  he  conjectured  to  be  the  American 
continent.  On  the  2d  of  September  he  began  his 
return  voyage,  following  the  coast  down  to  Nishe- 
kamchatsk,  but  not  until  1768  did  his  expedition 
return  to  Okhotsk.^ 

Another  and  far  more  important  expedition  under 
the  immediate  auspices  of  the  imperial  government 
was  organized  by  Chicherin,  governor  of  Siberia, 
under  instructions  of  the  admiralty  college.  As  early 
as  1763  Chicherin  had  reported  to  the  imperial  gov- 
ernment the  latest  discoveries  among  the  Aleutian 
Isles  by  Siberian  traders,  pointing  at  the  same  time 
to  the  necessity  of  having  these  discoveries  verified 
by  officers  of  the  navy,  who  might  be  appointed  as 

2  Steehlin  in  his  Account  of  the  New  Northern  Archipelago,  12-15,  gives  a 
strangely  garbled  report  of  this  expedition,  as  follows:  'The  empress. .  .erect- 
ing a  commercial  company  composed  of  Russian  merchants  for  trading  with 
the  new  islands,  and  to  further  promote  this  end,  the  admiralty  oihce  at 
Okhotskoi,  on  the  sea  of  Penshinsk,  had  orders  from  her  Majesty  to  assist  this 
trading  company  of  Kamchatka  in  tbe  prosecution  of  their  undertaking;  to 
provide  them  with  convoys,  and  to  endeavor  to  procure  all  possible  informa- 
tion relative  to  the  islands  and  coast  they  intended  to  visit  to  the  north  and 
north-east  beyond  Kamchatka.  In  the  year  1764  these  traders  accordingly 
sailed  from  the  harbor  of  Ochotskoi  with  some  two-masted  galiots,  and  single- 
masted  vessels  of  the  kind  in  Siberia  called  dostchennikof  (covei-ed  bai'ges), 
under  a  convoy  from  the  aforesaid  admiralty  office,  commanded  by  Lieutenant 
Syndo.  They  passed  the  sea  of  Ochotskoi,  went  round  the  southern  cape  of 
Kamchatka  into  the  Pacific  Ocean,  steering  along  the  eastern  coast,  keeping 
northward,  and  at  last  came  to  an  anchor  in  the  liarbor  of  Peter-Paul,  and 
wintered  in  the  ostrog  or  palisaded  village.  The  next  year  they  pursued  tlieir 
voyage  farther  northward,  and  in  that  and  the  following  year,  17G5  and  1766, 
they  discovered  by  degrees  the  whole  archipelago  of  islands  of  different  sizes, 
which  increased  upon  them  the  farther  they  went  between  the  56th  and  67th 
degrees  of  north  latitude,  and  they  returned  safely  in  the  same  year.  The 
reports  they  made  to  the  government  chancellery  at  Irkutsk,  and  from  thence 
sent  to  the  directing  senate,  together  with  the  maps  and  charts  thereto 
annexed,  made  a  considerable  alteration  in  the  regions  of  the  sea  of  Anadir 
and  in  the  situation  of  the  opposite  coast  of  America,  and  gave  them  quite  a 
diflerent  appearance  fi'om  that  in  the  above-mentioned  map  engraved  in  the 
year  1758.  This  difference  is  made  apparent  by  comparing  it  with  the  amended 
map  published  last  year,  1773,  by  the  academy  of  sciences,  and  is  made  still 
more  visible  by  the  accurate  little  map  of  the  newly  discovered  northern 
archipelago,  hereto  annexed,  which  is  drawn  up  from  original  accounts.'  The 
'accurate  little  map'  referred  to  is  perhaps  the  most  preposterous  piece  of  im- 
aginary geography  in  existence,  a  worthy  companion  of  the  charts  of  Croyfere. 


commanders  of  the  trading  vessels  and  instructed  to 
keep  correct  journals  of  their  exploring  voyages. 
This  report  was  duly  considered  by  the  empress  and 
resulted  in  the  organization  of  the  Krenitzin  expedi- 

The  empress  issued  a  special  oukaz  instructing  the 
admiralty  college  to  detail  a  number  of  officers  of  the 
navy,  intrusting  the  command  to  the  most  experienced 
among  them  versed  in  the  science  of  navigation  and 
kindred  branches  of  knowledge.* 

The  expedition,  having  been  recommended  to  the 
special  attention  of  the  admiralty  college  with  instruc- 
tions to  keep  its  destination  secret,  was  at  once  set  on 
foot.  The  command  was  given  to  Captain-lieutenant 
Petr  Kumich  Krenitzin,  who  was  to  select  his  com- 
panions.^ All  were  placed  under  the  immediate  com- 
mand of  the  governor  of  Siberia,  and  were  to  proceed 
to  the  newly  discovered  islands  on  the  vessels  of 
traders,  one  on  each,  without  assuming  any  command, 
turning  their  attention  solely  to  taking  astronomical 
-observations  and  to  noting  all  they  saw.     At  the  same 

^  The  results  of  this  expedition  were  published  by  Coxa  in  1780.  He  ob- 
tained his  information  principally  from  the  historian  Robertson,  who  had  been 
granted  access  to  the  archives  of  the  navy  department  by  the  empress.  Pallas 
translated  Coxe's  account  into  his  Nordische  Beitrage,  published  in  1781;  and 
in  the  same  year  a  Russian  translation  appeared  in  the  Academic  Monthly  axLd 
was  republished  in  the  selections  from  the  monthly.  Robertson,  however, 
had  no  opportunity  to  look  into  the  details  of  the  organization  and  manage- 
ment of  the  expedition,  and  confined  himself  to  results;  consequently  the 
actual  details  of  the  enterprise  remained  unknown  until  Sokolof  investigated 
the  subject,  having  access  to  the  original  journals  and  charts.  Zap.  Hydr., 
X.  17-71. 

*  A  portion  of  the  oukaz  reads  as  follows:  '  We  promise  our  imperial  good- 
will not  only  to  the  commander  of  the  expedition  but  to  all  his  subordinates, 
and  assure  them  that  upon  their  safe  return  from  their  voyage  every  participant 
shall  be  advanced  one  step  in  rank  and  be  entitled  to  a  life  pension  in  propor- 
tion to  the  salary  received  during  the  voyage.  On  account  of  the  distance  to 
be  traversed  and  the  hardships  to  be  encountered,  I  grant  to  each  member  of 
the  expedition  doable  pay  and  allowance  of  subsistence  from  the  time  of  de- 
parture to  the  day  of  retui-n;  this  extra  allowance  to  continue  for  a  period  of 
two  years. '  Sokolof,  Irkutsk  A  rchives.  With  the  final  instructions  the  gra- 
cious sovereign  forwarded  to  Governor  Chicherin  a  gold  watch  for  each  of  the 
officers  in  command. 

*  In  order  to  mislead  the  public  with  regard  to  the  objects  of  the  expedi- 
tion the  admiralty  college  gave  it  the  official  name  of  'An  Expedition  for  the 
Exploration  of  the  Forests  on  the  rivers  Kama  and  Brela.'  Sokolof,  Zap. 
Hydr.,  75. 


time  the  governor  was  informed  that  if  he  deemed  it 
better  to  employ  government  vessels,  he  might  engage 
ships  of  the  promjshleniki,  or  build  new  crafts,  and 
despatch  Krenitzin  and  his  chief  assistant  on  two  of 
the  latter,  independent  of  the  trader's  fleet. ^ 

Krenitzin  was  promoted  to  captain  of  the  second 
rank,  and  Lieutenant  Mikhail  Levashef,  whom  the 
commander  had  chosen  for  his  chief  assistant,  to  be 
captain-lieutenant.  All  the  subalterns  were  advanced 
one  step  in  rank,  as  had  been  promised  them.  The 
command  took  its  departure  from  St  Petersburg  the 
1st  of  July  1764,  arriving  in  Tobolsk  the  17th  of  Sep- 
tember.'^ At  this  place  the  expedition  was  reenforced 
by  ten  cadets  from  the  local  school  of  navigation,  and 
also  provided  with  additional  supplies  and  stores.  They 
left  Tobolsk  at  the  beginning  of  March  1765,  arriving 
at  Yakutsk  in  July  and  at  Okhotsk  in  October,  after 
a  difficult  journey  over  the  tundra  and  mountains  in- 
tervening between  Yakutsk  and  the  sea.*^ 

^The  instructions  of  the  governor  began  with  these  words:  'Fully  aware 
of  your  knowledge  and  your  zeal  for  the  glory  of  her  Imperial  Majesty,  and 
tlie  benefit  of  your  country,  the  admiralty  college  expects  you  to  employ  all 
your  ardor  and  perseverance  in  the  prosecution  of  this  enterprise. '  There  was 
also  a  '  secret  addition'  to  these  instructions.  Believing  that  the  expedition 
aliout  to  be  desj^atched  along  the  Arctic  coast  of  Siberia  under  command  of 
Cliichagof ,  to  search  for  the  north-east  passage,  would  finally  reach  Kamchatka 
and  meet  there  the  vessels  of  the  Krenitzin  expedition,  the  admiralty  college 
thought  it  necessary  to  establish  a  code  of  signals  known  to  the  commanders 
of  both  squadrons.  Tliese  signals  consisted  of  an  extraordinary  arrangement 
of  the  sails,  frequent  lowering  and  hoisting  of  flags,  and  discharges  of  cannon. 
In  their  endeavors  to  provide  for  all  contingencies  the  framers  of  these  instruc- 
tionsalso  suggested  that  in  times  of  fog,  and  in  theabsence  of  fire-armsorammu- 
nition,  the  vessels  should  approach  each  other  as  nearly  as  possible,  when  the 
command  was  to  shout  three  times  '  agai!'  in  a  manner  similar  to  the  shout  of 
'  hurrah ! '  by  troops,  and  if  the  other  vessel  should  answer  with  the  same 
cry,  three  times  re;  eated,  the  crew  of  the  first  was  again  to  shout,  '  Boshe 
pomogi ! '  God  help  you,  also  three  times,  and  await  from  the  other  vessel  the 
reply,  '  Da,  pomoshet  i  nam  !'  yes,  he  will  help  us.  Then  when  all  these  sig- 
nals had  been  correctly  answered  the  crew  of  the  first  vessel  was  to  shout, 
'  Umnak  Island!'  three  times,  and  await  an  answer  from  the  other  crew  of 
'  Onnekotan  Island ! '  three  times  repeated.  IrhuUk  Archives;  Sokolof,  Zap. 
Hydr.,  x.  76-7.  Sokolof  also  mentions  that  the  expedition  was  fitted  out 
with  12  quadrants  and  the  charts  of  Bering,  of  the  merchant  Shishkin,  and  of 
Vertlugof;  those  of  the  last  two  covering  respectively  the  Aleutian  Islands 
and  north-eastern  Siberia  and  Japan. 

'  The  subaltern  officers  consisted  of  seven  mates,  Dudin  1st,  Dudin  2d, 
Shebanof,  Krasheninnikof,  Chinenoi,  Stepanof,  and  Sralef j  one  corporal,  and 
four  quartermasters.  Zap.  Hydr.,  x.  77-8. 

*  At  Yakutsk  Krenitzin  received  another  batch  of  instructions  from  the 


Upon  tlie  receipt  of  full  reports  of  the  expedition, 
the  thrice  gracious  and  benignant  Catherine  ex- 
pressed her  thanks  to  Governor  Chicherin  for  all  his 
arrangements  in  a  special  rescript,  hoping  for  com- 
plete success  of  the  undertaking.  The  empress  also 
thanked  the  governor  for  "  framing  such  wise  instruc- 
tions." In  alluding  to  the  departure  of  Krenitzin 
for  the  coast  from  Yakutsk  she  wrote:  "May  the 
Almighty  bless  his  journey.  I  am  sure  that  you  will 
not  slacken  your  zeal  in  promoting  the  enterprise, 
and  whatever  occurs  during  the  journey  worthy  of 
note  you  will  report  to  me  at  once.  I  am  now  wait- 
ing with  impatience  news  of  his  farther  progress."^ 

When  Krenitzin  arrived  at  Okhotsk  he  found  to 
his  great  disappointment  that  the  vessels  intended  for 
his  use  were  not  ready,  the  keels  only  having  been 
laid  and  a  few  timbers  selected  for  the  frames.  All 
labor  had  been  suspended  for  lack  of  timber.  When 
Chicherin  was  informed  of  this  he  instructed  Kre- 
nitzin to  temporarily  supersede  Captain  Rtishchef, 
second  in  command  of  Okhotsk,  and  to  superintend 
in  person  the  construction  of  his  vessels.  If  he  should 
find  it  impossible  to  complete  the  ships,  he  was  au- 
thorized to  engage  others  from  the  traders.  Through 
Colonel  Plenisner,  Krentzin  also  encountered  obstacles 
to  his  progress. ^° 

prolific  pen  of  Chicherin,  advising  the  commander  to  obtain  from  the  merchants 
who  had  already  visited  the  Aleutian  Isles,  a  detailed  description  of  tlieir 
discoveries,  and  to  locate  them  on  his  charts;  to  turn  his  special  attention  to 
the  large  and  populous  island  of  Kadiak,  which  should  be  circumnavigated  i-f 
possible  and  thoroughly  explored  in  order  to  ascertain  whether  it  was  an 
island  or  mainland.  Irkutsk  Archives',  Sokolof,  x.  78-9;  Sarychef,  ii.  37;  Pal- 
las, JSTord.  Beitr.,  i.  282. 

''The  imperial  rescripts  are  in  Irkutsk  Archives;  Zapiski  Hydr.,  dated  Oct. 
11,  1764;  April  11,  July  11,  and  Oct.  12,  1765. 

^"  Col.  Plenisner,  who  commanded  the  military  station  at  Okhotsk,  quar- 
relled with  Krenitzin  and  sent  complaints  to  Irkutsk.  The  governor  wrote  to 
Krenitzin,  instead  of  replying  to  the  accuser,  as  follows:  '  Perhaps  Plenisner 
will  cause  you  trouble.  From  my  knowledge  of  you,  and  I  had  the  honor  of 
knowing  you  for  some  time  at  Tobolsk,  I  conclude  that  you  will  give  him  no 
provocation;  but  I  do  not  know  Plenisner  personally.  It  seems  to  me  that 
there  is  something  in  the  air  of  Okhotsk  that  causes  all  officers  stationed  there 
to  quarrel.'  After  assuring  Krenitzin  of  his  sincere  friendship,  the  governor 
advised  him  to  avoid  all  petty  quarrels  in  order  not  to  displease  the  empress, 
and  concluded  as  follows:  '  If  Plenisner  seriously  interferes  with  your  arrange- 
Hi8T.  Alaska.    11 


At  last,  in  August  1766,  the  ships  were  completed 
and  launched,  a  brigantine  called  the  Sv  Ekaterina 
and  a  hooker,  the  Sv  Pavel;  two  others,  old  vessels, 
had  also  been  fitted  out,  the  galiot  Sv  Pavel  and  the 
Gavril}'^  The  squadron  sailed  from  Okhotsk  the  10th 
of  October.  The  third  day  out,  at  a  distance  of  only- 
ten  leagues  from  Okhotsk,  all  the  vessels  became  sep- 
arated from  each  other.  On  the  17th  Krenitzin  first 
sighted  land  in  latitude  53°  45',  and  the  following  day 
the  brigantine  was  discovered  to  be  leaking  badly, 
rendering  it  necessary  to  run  for  the  land.  A  gale 
arose,  and  the  result  was  a  total  wreck  twenty-five 
versts  north  of  Bolsheretsk,near  the  small  river  Ontok, 
the  crew  reaching  the  shore  in  safety  the  24th.  Lev- 
ashef,  on  the  hooker  Sv  Pavel,  sighted  the  coast  of 
Kamchatka  on  the  18th,  and  on  the  22d  approached 
the  harbor  of  Bolsheretsk,  but  waited  to  take  advan- 
tage of  a  spring  tide  to  cross  the  bar.  On  the  follow- 
ing day  a  storm  came  up,  causing  the  vessel  to  break 
from  her  cables.  Levashef  attempted  to  put  to  sea, 
but  failing  he  finally  ran  the  ship  ashore  on  the  24th, 
about  seven  versts  from  Bolsheretsk  River.  The 
crew  and  the  greater  part  of  the  cargo  were  landed. 
The  Sv  Gavril  succeeded  in  entering  Bolsheretsk 
harbor,  but  was  overtaken  by  the  same  storm  and  cast 
upon  the  beach.  The  galiot  Sv  Pavel  drifted  out  of 
her  course  into  the  Pacific,  and  after  more  than  two 
months  of  agony  the  thirteen  survivors,  among  whom 
was  the  commander,  found  themselves  on  one  of  the 

ments,  I  give  you  permission  to  report  directly  to  her  Imperial  Majesty,  and 
to  the  admiralty  college,  but  I  hope  that  God  will  not  let  it  come  to  that, 
and  that  He  will  give  you  peace  and  good -will.  Such  is  my  sincere  wish.' 
Irhutxh  Archives;  Zap.  Ilydr.,  x.  80;  Morshoi  Shornik,  cv.  49-50. 

i^'The  expeditionary  force  was  distributed  as  follows:  the  Sv  Ekaterina, 
commanded  by  Krenitzin,  carried  72  men;  the  hooker  .5 1'  Pavel,  commanded 
by  Levashef,  52;  the  galiot  Sv  Pavel,  commanded  by  Dudin  2d,  43;  and  the 
Sv  Gavril,  commanded  by  Dudin  1st,  21.  The  cost  of  fitting  out  the  expedi- 
tion reached  the  sum  of  100,837  rubles,  then  a  large  amount  of  money.  The 
empress  wrote  Chicherin  on  the  subject  of  expense  under  date  of  May  28, 
1764:  '  Perhaps  the  execution  of  my  plans  will  involve  some  expenditm-e  of 
money,  and  thei-efore  I  authorize  you  to  employ  for  the  purpose  the  first  funds 
coming  into  your  treasury,  sending  a  strict  account  of  expenditure  to  the 
admiralty  college.'  Zap.  Ilydr.,  x.  81. 



Kurile  Islands  with  their  vessel  a  wreck.  Such  was 
the  beginning,  and  might  as  well  have  been  the  end, 
of  the  empress'  grand  scientific  expedition. 

The  shipwrecked  crews  passed  the  winter  at  Bol- 
sheretsk,  where  they  were  joined  during  the  following 
summer  by  mate  Dudin  2d,  and  the  survivors  of  the 
crew  of  the  wrecked  galiot.  The  hooker  Sv  Pavel  and 
the  Sv  Gavril  were  repaired,  Levashef  taking  com- 
mand of  the  former  with  a  crew  of  fifty-eight,  while 
Krenitzin  sailed  in  the  latter  with  a  crew  of  sixty- 
six.  Each  vessel  was  provided  with  a  large  bidar. 
Sailing  from  Bolsheretsk  the  17th  of  August  1767, 
the  expedition  arrived  at  Nishekamchatsk  on  the  6th 
of  September.  Here  another  winter  must  be  passed. 
The  Sv  Gavril  was  unfit  for  navigation,  and  Kren- 
itzin concluded  to  take  the  galiot  Sv  Ekaterina,  Synd, 
commander,  just  returned. ^^  Chichagof,  about  the 
meeting  with  whom  the  admiralty  college  had  been 

^'■^  For  a  description  of  bidars  and  bidarkas  see  Native  Races,  vol.  i. ,  this 
series.  Tlie  galiot  Sv  Ehaterina  had  3  mates,  1  second  mate,  3  cadets,  1 
boatswain,  1  boatswain's  mate,  2  quartermasters,  1  clerk,  1  surgeon,  1  ship's 
corporal,  1  blacksmith,  1  carpenter,  1  boat-builder,  1  sail-maker,  1  infantry- 
soldier,  41  Cossacks,  9  sailors,  and  2  Aleuts — a  total  of  72.  The  hooker  Sv 
Pavel,  carried  4  mates,  4  cadets,  4  quartermasters,  1  surgeon,  1  ship's  corporal, 

1  locksmith,  1  carpenter,  1  turner,  1  soldier,  38  Cossacks,  5  promyshleniki, 

2  Aleuts,  and  1  volunteer,  a  Siberian  nobleman.     The  provisions  were  dis- 
tributed as  follows: 

Galiot,  St  Ekatenna. 


Hooker,  Sv  Pavel. 


















Butter .              .... 



Meat            ....              



Dried  fish,  bundles  of 

Salt  fish,  barrels 

Dried  fish,  bundles  of 

Salt  fish,  barrels . . 


Brandy    buckets 

Brandy,  buckets 



Wood,  fathoms             

Wood   fathoms 




The  armament  consisted  of  2  copper  half-pound  falconets,  2  small  iron 
falconets  and  1  large  iron  cannon,  39  muskets,  6  musketoons,  and  13  rifles. 
Irkutsk  Archives :  Zap.  Hydr.,  ix.  68-9. 


SO  anxious,  had  in  the  mean  time  already  accomplished 
two  journeys,  1765-6,  also  attended  by  misfortune. 
The  winter  was  passed  by  the  men  in  boiling  sea-^ 
water  for  salt,  and  in  making  tar  out  of  spruce.  They 
also  constructed  two  large  bidars  and  some  water- 
casks,  and  in  the  spring  all  hands  were  busy  fishing. 
By  the  first  of  April  the  ice  began  to  disappear  from 
the  river,  and  on  the  1st  of  July  both  vessels  were 
ready  for  sea.  The  Krenitzin  expedition  was  not 
only  unlucky,  but  it  seemed  to  carry  a  curse  with  it. 
One  of  the  crew  of  the  Sv  Pavel,  a  Cossack  named 
Taborukin,  landed  in  Kamchatka  not  quite  cured  of 
an  attack  of  small-pox  and  infected  the  whole  neigh- 
borhood. In  two  years  the  population  was  more  than 
decimated. ^^ 

On  the  21st  of  June  the  ships  were  towed  out  of 
the  mouth  of  the  Kamchatka  River,  and  on  the  2 2d 
they  spread  their  sails,  steering  an  easterly  course  and 
stopping  at  Bering  Island  for  water.  Owing  to  con- 
trary winds  their  progress  was  slow,  and  on  the  11th 
of  August,  in  latitude  54°  33',  the  two  ships  became 
separated  during  a  strong  south-south-west  gale  and 
thick  weather.  On  the  14th  of  August  Krenitzin 
sighted  the  islands  of  Signam  and  Amukhta;  on  the 
20th  of  the  same  month  he  reached  the  strait  between 
Umnak  and  Unalaska,  called  by  him  Oonalaksha. 
Here  he  met  with  the  first  Aleuts,  whom  he  was  to 
know  only  too  well  in  the  future.  These  natives  were 
evidently  acquainted  with  Russians,  for  on  approach- 
ing the  vessel  they  cried  "zdorovo!"  good  health; 
they  also  asked,  "Why  do  you  come?  Will  you  live 
quietly  and  peacefully  with  our  people?"  They  were 
assured  that  the  new  arrivals  would  not  only  live  in 
peace  but  make  many  presents.  This  was  the  1st 
of  November,  and  the  Aleuts  returned  to  Unalaska. 
On  the  22d  Levashef's  craft  also  appeared  and  both 
vessels  proceeded  together  to  a  bay  on  the  north  side 
of  Unalaska,  Captain  Harbor.     Here  they  laid  in  a 

^^  Sgibnef,  in  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cii.  46-7. 


supply  of  fresh  water  with  the  assistance  of  the  na- 
tives. On  the  following  clay  an  Aleut  reported  that 
the  inhabitants  of  Akutan  and  Unalga  had  killed 
fifteen  of  Lapin's  crew  who  had  wintered  on  Unga. 
Without  investigating  the  report  both  commanders 
hoisted  their  anchors  and  proceeded  northward.  On 
the  30th  of  August  they  entered  the  strait  between 
Unimak  and  the  peninsula.  The  hooker  grounded, 
but  was  released  next  day  without  damage,  and  the 
search  for  a  wintering  harbor  was  continued.^* 

On  the  5th  of  September  the  two  ships  separated 
not  to  meet  again  until  the  following  spring.  On  the 
18th  of  September  Krenitzin  succeeded  in  finding  a 
beach  adapted  to  haul  up  his  vessel  for  the  winter  on 
the  island  of  Unimak,  while  Levashef  proceeded  to 
Unalaska  and  anchored  on  the  16th  of  September  in 
the  innermost  cove  of  Captain  Harbor,  still  known  by 
his  name.^^ 

About  the  middle  of  October,  before  Krenitzin  had 
succeeded  in  erecting  winter-quarters  of  drift-wood, 
the  only  material  at  hand,  two  large  bidars  appeared 
filled  with  natives  who  demanded  presents.  They 
received  some  trifles  with  a  promise  of  additional  gifts 
if  they  would  come  to  the  ship.  In  the  mean  time 
the  strangers  had  questioned  the  interpreter,  anxious 
to  discover  the  strength  of  Krenitzin's  crew,  when 
suddenly  one  of  the  natives  threw  his  spear  at  the 
Russians.  Nobody  was  injured  and  the  savages 
retreated  under  a  severe  fire  of  muskets  and  cannon 
from   ship   and   shore.     Fortunately    the    cannonade 

^*  Krenitzin's  instructions  contained  a  statement  that  a  good  harbor  had 
been  discovered  in  that  locality  by  Bechevin's  vessel  commanded  by  Golodof 
and  Pushkaref  in  1762.  Neue  Nachr.,  52.  It  has  already  been  intimated 
above  that  Bechevin  did  not  actually  reach  the  peninsula,  then  called  Alaksha 
Island,  but  wintered  on  Unalaska,  which  abounds  in  good  harbors.  Accord- 
ing to  Cook,  Oonemalc;  La  P(5rouse,  Ouinnah;  Sutil  y  Mex.,  Viage,  Ida  Uni- 
mah;  Holmberg,  /.  Unimak.  Cartog.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  450. 

1^  Levashef  chose  for  his  wintering  place  an  anchorage  at  the  head  of  the 
inner  bay  of  lUiuliuk,  sheltered  by  two  little  islands  from  the  north  wind, 
and  near  the  mouth  of  two  excellent  trout-streams.  The  location  of  his  camp 
can  still  be  traced,  the  ground-plan  of  four  great  subterranean  winter-huts 
being  still  plainly  visible,  though  now  covered  with  a  luxuriant  growth  of 
grasses  and  shrubs. 


proved  as  harmless  as  the  spear-throwing.  Insignifi- 
cant as  was  this  encounter,  it  proved  the  beginning  of 
bitter  strife.  All  the  subsequent  meetings  with  the 
natives  were  of  a  hostile  character.  While  exploring 
the  peninsula  shore  two  Cossacks  were  wounded  by- 
spears  thrown  by  hidden  savages,  and  one  night  a 
native  crawled  up  stealthily  to  within  a  few  yards  of 
the  Russian  huts,  but  was  discovered,  and  fled.^^ 

In  the  month  of  December  scurvy  appeared,  the 
first  victim  being  a  Cossack  who  had  been  wounded 
by  th§  savages.  In  January  1769  the  number  of 
sick  had  reached  twenty -two,  and  in  April  only  twelve 
of  the  company  were  free  from  disease,  and  those  were 
much  weakened  by  hunger.  The  whole  number  of 
deaths  during  the  winter  was  thirty-six.  During 
December  and  January  the  savages  kept  away,  but 
in  February  they  once  more  made  their  appearance, 
and  a  few  traded  furs,  whale-meat,  and  seal-blubber 
for  beads. ^^  On  the  10th  of  May  some  natives  brought 
letters  from  Levashef,  and  the  messengers  received 
a  liberal  compensation.  On  the  24th  the  galiot  was 
launched  once  more,  and  on  the  6th  of  June  Levashef 
joined  Krenitzin's  party. 

Levashef  had  also  met  with  misfortune  during  the 
winter.  It  is  true  that  the  natives  did  not  attack 
him  because  the  promyshleniki  wdio  had  passed  the 
preceding  winter  at  Unalaska  had  left  in  his  hands 
thirty-three  hostages,  the  children  of  chiefs,  but  rumors 
were  constantly  afloat  of  intended  attacks,  making  it 

^^  Krenitzin's  journal  states  that  during  the  night  numerous  voices  were 
heard  on  the  strait,  and  guns  were  twice  discharged  in  the  direction  of  the 
camp,  M'hile  signals  could  be  distinguished  imitating  the  cry  of  the  sea-lion. 
On  account  of  the  impending  danger  five  sentries  were  posted.  Irkutsk  Ar- 
chivef:;  Ziq->.  Hiiilr.,  ix.  91. 

^'  The  daily  journal  of  Krenitzin  contains  an  entry  to  the  effect  that  on  the 
night  of  the  11th  of  April  several  bidars  were  discovered  in  the  strait,  and 
that  they  were  iired  upon  twice  by  the  Russians  with  canister.  Such  treat- 
ment certainly  did  not  serve  to  pacify  the  natives.  It  seems  that  during  the 
whole  winter  it  had  been  the  practice  to  fire  from  time  to  time  during  the 
night  in  order  to  'prevent  any  savages  skulking  about  from  attempting  an 
attack. '  Three  times  during  the  winter  severe  shocks  of  earthquake  were 
felt — on  January  hlth,  February  20th,  and  March  16th.  Krenitzin's  Journal; 
Irkutsk  Archives;  Zap.  Ilydr.,  x.  91-2. 


necessary  to  exercise  vigilance.  Lack  of  food  and  fuel 
caused  great  suffering  among  the  crew;  it  was  impos- 
sible to  live  comfortably  on  board  the  ship,  and  the 
huts  constructed  of  drift-wood  were  frequently  thrown 
down  by  the  furious  gales  of  winter.  The  weather 
was  very  boisterous  throughout  the  season,  and  in 
May  the  number  of  sick  had  reached  twenty-seven.^^ 
Obviously  they  must  return;  so  on  the  23d  of  June 
both  vessels  left  their  anchorage.  During  the  voyage 
they  became  separated,  Krenitzin  arriving  at  Kam- 
chatka the  29th  of  July,  and  Levashef  on  the  24tii 
of  August.^^ 

The  winter  was  passed  by  the  expedition  at  Nishe- 
kamchatsk,  but  as  there  were  little  provisions  and 
no  money  the  suffering  was  great.  The  only  avail- 
able source  of  supply  was  the  dried  fish  of  the  natives, 
which  had  to  be  purchased  at  exorbitant  prices.'^''  On 
the  4th  of  July  both  vessels  were  ready  for  sea,  when 
Captain  Krenitzin  attempting  to  cross  the  river  in  a 
dug-out,  the  frail  craft  capsized  and  he  was  drowned. 
Levashef  assumed  command,  and  having  assigned 
Dudin  2d  to  the  galiot  he  sailed  from  Kamchatka 
the  8th,  arriving  at  Okhotsk  the  3d  of  August.  Le- 
vashef returned  to  St  Petersburg,  arriving  there  the 
22d  of  October  1771;  seven  years  and  four  months 
from  his  departure.  The  expedition  was  a  praise- 
worthy effort,  but  miserably  carried  out. 

Meanwhile,  fresh  information  had  reached  St  Peters- 
burg of  the  successes  of  the  Russian  promyshleniki 
on  the  Aleutian  Islands,  telling  the  empress  and  her 

^^  Levashef's  journal  under  date  of  December  16th  contains  the  following: 
'Nearly  all  the  men  say  that  we  are  doomed  to  perish,  that  we  have  been 
abandoned  by  God ;  we  have  bad  food,  and  but  little  of  that,  and  we  can  find 
no  shelter  from  the  snow-storms  and  rain.'  Levashef's  Journal;  Irkutsk 
Archives;  Zap.  Hydr.,  x.  93. 

^^  Zap.  Hydr.,  x.  94;  Coze's  Russian  Dis.,  300;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  i. 

'^'^  An  entry  in  Krenitzin's  journal  states  that  200  pounds  of  flour  were 
sent  from  Bolsheretsk  to  his  relief,  but  it  spoiled  in  transmittal.  Nineteen 
barrels  of  salt  fish  were  also  transported  overland  across  the  peninsula.  On 
the  2Sth  of  September  1769,  and  on  the  4th  of  May  1770,  heavy  earthquakes 
occurred,  and  on  the  latter  date  the  Kluchevskaia  volcano  was  in  eruption. 
Krenitzin's  Journal ;  Zap.  Hydr.,  x.  94. 


learned  society  a  hundredfold  more  of  Alaska  than 
they  were  ever  to  learn  from  their  special  messengers. 
Tolstykh  reported  that  during  a  cruise  among  the 
islands  in  his  ship  Andreian  i  Natalia,  1760  to  1764, 
he  subjugated  six  islands  and  named  them  the 
Andreienof  group,  as  we  have  seen.  Another  re- 
port stated  that  four  vessels  of  one  company  had 
been  despatched  in  1762  to  Unalaska  and  Umnak. 
Glottof  reported  that  he  had  wintered  at  Kadiak  in 
1763.  In  1766,  as  already  stated,  the  merchant  Shilof 
arrived  at  St  Petersburg  and  was  presented  to  the 

An  important  change  of  government  policy  now  took 
place  in  the  treatment  of  the  Aleuts.  Upon  Krenit- 
zin's  Representations  the  collection  of  tribute  by  the 
promyshleniki    and   Cossacks  was  prohibited   by  an 

^^  The  information  furnished  by  Levashef's  journal  was  divided  into  four 
heads:  A  description  of  the  island  of  Unalaska;  the  inhabitants;  tribute; 
traffic.  The  description  was  superficial,  adding  scarcely  anything  to  previous 
accounts.  In  regard  to  tribute  Levashef  stated  that  it  was  i^aid  only  by  those 
who  had  given  their  children  as  hostages.  The  promyshleniki's  mode  of  car- 
rying on  trade  is  described  as  follows:  'The  Russians  have  for  some  years 
past  been  accustomed  to  repair  to  tliese  islands  in  quest  of  furs  of  which  they 
have  imposed  a  tax  upon  the  inhabitants.  They  go  in  the  autumn  to  Bering 
and  Copper  islands,  and  there  pass  tlie  winter  employing  themselves  in  killing 
fur--seals  and  sea-lions.  The  flesh  of  the  latter  is  prepared  for  food,  and  is 
esteemed  a  great  delicacy.  The  skins  of  the  sea-lions  are  carried  to  the  eastern 
islands.  The  following  summer  they  sail  eastward  to  the  Fox  Islands  and 
again  haul  up  their  ships  for  the  winter.  They  then  endeavor  to  procure  by 
force,  or  by  persuasion,  children  as  hostages,  generally  the  sons  of  chiefs; 
this  accomplished  they  deliver  fox-traps  to  the  inhabitants  and  also  sea-lion 
skins  for  the  manufacture  of  bidarkas,  for  which  they  expect  in  return  furs 
and  provisions  during  the  winter.  After  obtaining  from  the  savages  a  certain 
quantity  of  fui-s  as  tribute  or  tax,  foi  which  they  give  receipts,  the  promysh- 
leniki pay  for  the  remainder  in  beads,  corals,  woollen  cloth,  copper  kettles, 
hatchets,  etc.  In  the  spring  they  get  back  their  traps  and  deliver  the  hostages. 
They  dare  not  hunt  alone  or  in  small  numbers.  These  people  could  not  com- 
preliend  for  some  time  for  what  purpose  the  Russians  imposed  a  tribute  of 
skins  which  they  did  not  keep  themselves,  for  their  own  chiefs  had  no  revenue; 
nor  could  they  be  made  to  believe  that  there  were  any  more  Russians  in 
existence  than  those  who  came  among  them,  for  in  their  own  country  all  the 
men  of  an  island  go  out  together.'  The  most  important  j)art  of  Levashef's 
report  is  the  description  of  the  inhabitants,  which  furnishes  some  valuable 
ethnological  information.  See  Native  Races,  passim,  this  series.  The  hydro- 
graphic  results  of  the  expedition  were  meagre.  The  navigators  of  this  costly 
enterprise  had  no  means  of  ascertaining  the  longitude,  and  consequently  their 
observations  were  very  unsatisfactory.  Tliey  located  Unimak,  Unalaska,  and 
Umnak  between  latitudes  53'  '1'.)'  and  54°  3S'.  Special  charts  were  made  of 
Unimak,  the  northern  coast  of  Unalaska,  and  the  harbor  of  St  Paul,  now 
known  as  Captain  Harbor.  Levanhefs  Journal;  Irkutsk  Archives;  Zap.  Hydr., 
X.  97-203;  Coxe's  Russian  Dis.,  220-2. 


imperial  oukaz.-"  The  business  of  fitting-out  trading 
expeditions  for  the  Aleutian  Isles  continued  about  as 
usual,  notwithstanding  the  terrible  risks  and  misfor- 
tunes. Of  hunting  expeditions  to  discovered  islands  it 
is  not  necessary  to  give  full  details. 

In  the  year  1768  a  company  of  three  merchants, 
JZassypkin,  Orekhof,  and  Moukhin,  despatched  the 
ship  Sv  Nikolai  to  the  islands,  meeting  Avith  great 
success;  the  vessel  returned  in  1773  with  a  cargo  con- 
sisting of  2,450  sea-otters  and  1,127  blue  foxes.'^^  The 
Sv  Andrei — Sv  Adrian  according  to  Berg — belonging 
to  Poloponissof  and  Popof,  sailed  from  Kamchatka  in 
1769.  In  1773  she  was  wrecked  on  the  return  voy- 
age in  the  vicinity  of  Ouda  River.  The  cargo,  con- 
sisting of  1,200  sea-otters,  996  black  foxes,  1,419  cross 
foxes,  and  593  red  foxes,  was  saved. ^*  The  same  year 
sailed  from  Okhotsk  the  Sv  Prokojy,  owned  by  the 
merchants  Okoshinikof  and  Protodiakonof  She  re- 
turned after  four  years  with  an  insignificant  cargo  of 
250  sea-otters,  20  black  and  40  cross  foxes.-^  In  1770 
the  ship  Sv  Alexandr  Nevski,  the  property  of  the  mer- 
chant Serebrennikof,  sailed  for  the  islands  and  returned 
after  a  four  years'  voyage  with  2,340  sea-otters  and 
1,130  blue  foxes.^^  "Shilof,  Orekhof,  and  Lapin,  in  July 
of  the  same  year,  fitted  out  once  more  the  old  ship  Sv 
Pavel  at  Okhotsk,  and  despatched  her  to  the  islands 
under  command  of  the  notorious  Solovief  By  this 
time  the  Aleuts  were  evidently  thoroughly  subjugated, 

''-Berg  claims  that  this  oukaz  was  not  issued  until  1779,  10  years  after 
Krenitzin  returned.  Khronol.  1st.,  80.  Berg's  statements  conceniing  the 
Krenitzin  expedition  are  brief  and  vague.  The  best  authority  on  the  subject 
now  extant  is  Sokolof,  who  had  access  to  the  archives  of  Irkutsk,  and  who 
published  the  results  of  his  investigation  in  volume  x.  of  Za2J.  Hijdr.  The 
description  of  Krenitzui's  voyage  in  Coxe's  Buss/aii  Dis.,  221  et  seq.,  is  based 
to  a  certain  extent  on  questionable  authority,  but  it  was  translated  verbally 
by  Pallas  in  his  Nord.  Bdtr.,  i.  249-72.  The  same  account  was  copied  in 
German  in  Biischhi'/s  JUajazine,  vol.  xvi.,  and  strangely  enough  retranslated 
into  Russian  by  Sarychef. 

'^^  Berg,  Khronol.  I$L,  app. ;  Gj-ewincjk,  Beitr.,  317. 

^^  Berg,  Klironol.  Id.,  G4-6,  app.  The  nature  of  the  cargo  proves  that  the 
voyage  extended  at  least  to  Unalaska. 

^'^  Berg,  Khronol.  Int.,  G7.  No  reason  for  the  ill-success  of  tliis  venture  has 
been  transmitted. 

^'^Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  86. 


as  the  man  who  had  slaughtered  their  brethren  by 
hundreds  during  his  former  visit  passed  four  addi- 
tional years  in  safety  among  them,  and  then  returned 
with  an  exceedingly  valuable  cargo  of  1,900  sea-otters, 
1,493  black,  2,115  cross,  and  1,275  red  foxes.  He 
claims  to  have  reached  the  Alaska  peninsula,  and  de- 
scribes Unimak  and  adjoining  islands.^'' 

The  next  voyage  on  record  is  that  of  Potap  Zaikof, 
a  master  in  the  navy,  who  entered  the  service  of  the 
Shilof  and  Lapin  company,  and  sailed  from  Okhotsk 
on  the  22d  of  September  1772,  in  the  ship  Sv  Vladi- 
mir. Zaikof  had  with  him  a  peredovchik  named  Sho- 
shin  and  a  crew  of  sixty-nine  men.^^  At  the  outset 
this  expedition  was  attended  with  misfortune.  Driven 
north,  the  mariners  were  obliged  to  winter  there, 
then  after  tempest-tossings  south  they  finally  reached 
Copper  Island,  where  they  spent  the  second  winter. 

Zaikof  made  a  careful  survey  of  the  island,  the  first 
on  record,  though  promyshleniki  had  visited  the  spot 
annually  for  over  twenty-five  years.  Almost  a  year 
elapsed  before  Zaikof  set  sail  again  on  the  2d  of  July 
1774,  and  for  some  unexplained  reason  twenty-three 
days  were  consumed  in  reaching  Attoo,  only  seventy 
leagues  distant.  Having  achieved  this  remarkable 
feat  he  remained  there  till  the  4th  of  July  follow- 
ing. The  progress  of  Zaikof  on  his  eastward  course 
was  so  slow  that  it  becomes  necessary  to  look  after  a 
few  other  expeditions  which  had  set  out  since  his  de-  • 

The  ship  ArJchangel  Sv  Mikhail,  the  property  of 
Kholodilof,  was  fitted  out  in  1772,  and  sailed  from  Bol- 
sheretsk  on  the  8th  of  September  with  Master  Dmitri 
Polutof  as  commander,  and  a  crew  of  sixty-three  men. 
This  vessel  also  was  beached  by  a  storm  on  the  coast 

'^^Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  viii.  32(>-34;  St  Petershirger  Zeiting,  1782— an  ex- 
tract from  Solovief's  journal.  Another  Sv  Pavel,  despatched  in  1774  by  a 
Tobolsk  trader  named  Ossokin,  was  wrecked  immediately  after  setting  sail 
from  Okhotsk.     Grewingk,  Beitr.,  319. 

'^^Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  87;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  iii.  274-88;  Grevnnqk, 
Beitr..  iii.  18. 


of  Kamchatka ;  after  which,  passing  the  tardy  Zaikof, 
Polutof  went  to  Unalaska,  where  he  remained  two 
years,  trading  peaceably,  and  then  proceeded  toKadiak. 
On  this  last  trip  he  set  out  on  the  15th  of  June  1776, 
taking  with  him  some  Aleutian  hunters  and  inter- 
preters. After  a  voyage  of  nine  days  the  Sv  Mikhail 
anchored  in  a  capacious  bay  on  the  east  coast  of  the 
island,  probably  the  bay  of  Oojak  on  the  shores  of 
which  the  Orlova  settlement  was  subsequently  founded. 
The  natives  kept  away  from  the  vicinity  of  the  harbor 
for  some  time,  and  a  month  elapsed  before  they  ventured 
to  approach  the  Russians.  They  were  heavily  armed, 
extremely  cautious  in  their  movements,  and  evidently 
but  little  inclined  to  listen  to  friendly  overtures. 
Polutof  perceived  that  it  was  useless  to  remain  under 
such  circumstances.  He  finally  wintered  at  Atkha, 
and  the  following  year  returned,  landing  at  Nishekam- 
chatsk.  The  total  yield  of  this  adventure  was  3,720 
sea-otters,  488  black,  431  cross,  204  red,  901  blue  foxes, 
and  143  fur-seals.^^ 

Thus  Polutof  accomplished  an  extended  and  profit- 
able voyage,  while  the  trained  navigator  Zaikof  was 
yet  taking  preparatory  steps,  moving  from  island  to 
island,  at  the  rate  of  one  hundred  miles  per  annum. ^" 
The  latter  had  on  the  4th  of  July  1775  sailed  from 
Attoo,  leaving  ten  men  behind  to  hunt  during  his 
absence.  On  the  19th  the  Sv  Vladimir  reached  Um- 
nak,  where  another  vessel,  the  Sv  Yevpl,  or  St  Jewell, 
owned  by  the  merchant  Burenin,  and  despatched  in 
1773  from  Nishekamshatsk,  was  already  anchored. 
Aware  of  the  bloody  scenes  but  lately  acted  there- 
about, Zaikof  induced  the  commander  of  the  Sv  Yepvl 

''^^ Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  app. 

^^  From  papers  furnished  him  by  Timofeif  Shmalef ,  Berg  heard  of  another 
vessel  belonging  to  the  merchants  Grigor  and  Petr  Panof,  which  sailed  for 
the  islands  in  1772.  Khronol.  1st.,  90-7;  Grewinrik,Beitr., S19.  Another  voyage 
undertaken  in  1772  is  described  by  Pallas  in  Nord.  Beitr.,  ii.  308-24,  under 
the  following  title:  'Des  Peredofschik's  Dimitry  Bragin  Bericht  von  einer  im 
Jahre  1772  angetretenen  euijahrigen  Seereise  zu  den  zwischen  Kamtschatka 
und  Amerika  gelegenen  Inseln.'  Since  Grewingk  describes  this  voyage  as  oc- 
cupying the  four  years  from  1772  to  1776,  it  is  rather  doubtful  whether  the 
description  applies  to  the  one  year  voyage  of  Bragin. 




1  '3M1^^  ,*=^^ 

Brag  IN 's  Map. 


to  hunt  on  joint  account.^^  The  agreement  was  that 
the  Sv  Yevpl  should  remain  at  Umnak  with  thirty- 
five  men,  while  the  Sv  Vladimir,  with  sixty  men 
and  fully  provisioned,  was  to  set  out  in  search  of 
new  discoveries.  On  rejoining,  the  furs  obtained  by 
the  two  parties  were  to  be  divided.  Zaikof  sailed 
eastward  on  the  3d  of  August,  and  in  three  weeks 
reached  the  harbor  where  Krenitzin  wintered  with 
the  Sv  Ekaterina.  Here  the  commander  of  the  expe- 
dition considered  himself  entitled  to  a  prolonged  rest, 
and  consequently  he  remained  stationary  for  three 
years,  making  surveys  of  the  neighborhood  while  his 
crew  attended  to  the  business  of  hunting  and  trap- 

On  the  27th  of  May  1778  the  Sv  Vladimir  put  to 
sea  once  more,  steering  for  the  bay  where  the  com- 
panion ship  was  anchored.  Upon  this  brief  passage, 
which  at  that  time  of  the  year  can  easily  be  accom- 
plished in  three  days,  Zaikof  managed  to  spend  fifty- 
three  days.  At  last,  however,  the  juncture  of  the  two 
ships  was  effected  and  the  furs  were  duly  divided,  but 
after  attending  to  these  arduous  duties  the  captain 
concluded  to  wait  another  year  before  taking  his  final 
departure  for  Okhotsk.  Not  until  the  9th  of  May 
1779  did  Zaikof  sail  from  Umnak,  and  after  brief 
stoppages  at  Attoo  and  Bering  islands  the  Sv  Vladi- 
mir found  herself  safely  anchored  in  the  harbor  of 
Okhotsk  on  the  Gth  of  September. ^^ 

^1  The  Sv  Yevpl  sailed  for  the  islands  in  1773,  and  returned  in  1779.  lu 
the  cargo  were  63  land-otters,  the  first  shipped  by  the  promyshleniki,  and 
proving  that  this  vessel  must  have  reached  the  continent.  Berg,  Khro7iol.  1st. , 
97,  app.  A  comparison  of  this  cargo  with  the  furs  carried  back  by  the  Sv  Vla- 
dimir wox;ld  indicate  that  Zaikof  must  have  taken  the  lion's  share  on  closing 
the  partnership. 

'''^  Berg  thought  it  improbable  that  Zaikof  should  have  known  anything  of 
astronomical  observations  (he  was  a  master  in  the  navy!),  but  he  acknowl- 
edged that  Zaikof  did  discover  an  error  committed  by  Captain  Krenitzin  in 
placing  his  anchorage  five  degrees  too  far  to  the  westward.  Khronol.  1st.,  98. 

^^  With  all  his  apparently  unnecessary  delays,  Zaikof  in  his  report  to  the 
o-^Tiers  of  the  vessel  made  a  very  good  showing  compared  with  the  results  ot 
other  voyages.  During  an  absence  of  more  than  7  years  he  lost  but  1"2  out  of 
his  numerous  crew,  and  his  cargo  consisted  of  4,372  sea-otters,  3,949  foxes  of 
different  kinds,  92  land-otters,  1  wolverene  and  3  wolves— the  first  brought 
from  America — IS  minks,  1,725  fur-seals,  and  350  pounds  of  walrus  ivory,  the 


Two  of  the  owners  of  the  Sv  Vladimir,  Orekhof  and 
Lapin,  proceeded  to  St  Petersburg  with  a  present  of 
three  hundred  choice  black  foxes  for  the  empress. 
The  gift  was  graciously  received;  the  donors  were  en- 
tertained at  the  imperial  palace,  decorated  with  gold 
medals,  and  admitted  to  an  interview  with  Catherine, 
who  made  the  most  minute  inquiries  into  the  opera- 
tions of  her  subjects  in  the  easternmost  confines  of  her 
territory.  The  indebtedness  of  the  firm  to  the  gov- 
ernment for  nautical  instruments  and  supplies,  timber, 
and  taxes,  was  also  remitted.^'* 

It  has  been  elsevv^here  mentioned  that  the  promy- 
shleniki  and  traders  occasionally  ventured  upon  voy- 
ages from  the  coast  of  Kamchatka  to  the  eastward 
islands  in  open  boats  or  bidars.  Two  of  these  expe- 
ditions took  place  in  1772,  under  the  auspices  of  a 
merchant  named  Ivan  Novikof,  The  voyage  of  over 
a  thousand  miles  from  Bolsheretsk  around  the  south- 
ern extremity  of  Kamchatka  to  the  islands  was  twice 
safely  performed,  the  whole  enterprise  netting  the 
owners  15,600  rubles.  Considerinsr  the  hiofher  value 
of  money  in  those  times  and  the  insignificant  outlay 
required  in  this  instance,  the  enterprise  met  with  en- 
couraging success. 

From  this  time  to  the  visit  of  Captain  Cook,  single 
traders  and  small  companies  continued  the  traflfic  with 
the  islands  in  much  the  same  manner  as  before,  though 
a  general  tendency  to  consolidation  was  perceptible.^'' 

whole  valued  at  300,410  rubles.  Berg  declares  that  at  the  prices  established 
by  the  Russian- American  Company  at  tho  time  of  his  ■writing,  1812,  the  same 
furs  would  have  been  worth  1,003,588  rubles.   Khronol.  1st.,  91-3. 

"  Berg  also  states  that  this  present  was  made  after  the  return  of  the  Sv 
Vladimir  from  the  islands,  but  he  speaks  of  the  journey  of  Orekhof  and  Lapin 
as  having  taken  place  in  1770.  The  discrepancy  may  be  owing  to  a  typo- 
graphical error.  Khronol.  1st.,  93-4. 

^*In  1774  the  merchants  Protodiakonof  and  Okoshinikof  fitted  out  the 
ship  Sv  Prokop  for  the  second  time,  but  on  her  return  from  a  fourth  cruise 
the  owners  refused  to  engage  again  in  such  enterprises,  having  barely  covered 
expenses  during  a  period  of  eight  years. 




Political  Changes  at  St  Petersburg — Exiles  to  Siberia — The  Long 
Weary  Way  to  Kamchatka — The  Benyovski  Conspiracy — The  Au- 
thor Bad  enough,  but  not  so  Bad  as  He  would  like  to  Appear — 
Exile  Regulations — Forgery,  Treachery,  Robbery,  and  Murder — 
Escape  of  the  Exiles— Behm  Appointed  to  Succeed  Nilof  as  Com- 
mandant OF  Kamchatka— Further  Hunting  Voyages- First  Trad- 
ing Expedition  to  the  Mainland— Potop  ZaIkof — Prince  William 
Sound— Ascent  of  Copper  River — Treacherous  Csugaches— Plight 
of  the  Russians — Home  of  the  Fur-seals — Its  Discovery  by  Geras- 
SIM  Pribylof — Jealousy  of  Rival  Companies. 

It  was  a  time  of  rapid  and  sweeping  political  changes 
at  the  imperial  court.  All  along  the  road  to  Siberia, 
to  Yakutsk,  and  even  to  Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka,  one 
batch  of  exiles  followed  another,  political  castaways, 
prisoners  of  war,  or  victims  of  too  deep  diplomacy, 
as  much  out  of  place  in  this  broad,  bleak  penitentiary 
as  would  be  promyshleniki  and  otters  in  St  Peters- 
burg. In  one  of  these  illustrious  bands  was  a  Polish 
count,  Augustine  Benyovski  by  name,^  who  had 
played  somewhat  too  recklessly  at  conspiracy.  Nor 
was  Siberia  to  deprive  him  of  this  pastime.  Long 
before  he  reached  Yakutsk  he  had  plotted  and  organ- 
ized a  secret  society  of  exiles  with  himself  as  chief. 
The  more  prominent  of  the  other  members  were  a 
Doctor  Hoffman,  a  resident  of  Yakutsk,  Major  Wind- 
blath.  Captain  Panof,  Captain  Hipolite  Stepanof, 
Colonel  Baturin,  and  Sopronof,  the  secretary  of  the 

^  Sgibnef  states  that  Benyovski  did  not  call  himself  count  or  baron  in 
Kamchatka,  but  simply  beinosk  or  beinak.  Morshoi  ShorniJc,  cii.  51. 

(175  J 


society.^  'The  object  of  this  association  very  naturally 
was  to  get  its  members  out  of  limbo ;  or  in  other  words 
mutual  assistance  on  the  part  of  the  members  in 
making  their  escape  from  Siberia.  The  chief  exacted 
from  each  his  sisfnature  to  a  written  ao^reement,  done 
in  the  vicinity  of  Yakutsk,  and  dated  the  27th  of 
August  1770.  After  a  month  of  tedious  progress 
through  the  wastes  of  eastern  Siberia,  the  count's 
party  was  overtaken  by  a  courier  from  Yakutsk  who 
claimed  to  have  important  despatches  for  the  com- 
mander of  Okhotsk;  at  the  same  time  he  reported 
that  Dr  Hoffman  was  dead.  The  suspicions  of  Ben- 
yovski  and  his  companions  w^ere  aroused.  Persuad- 
ing the  tired  courier  that  he  needed  a  little  rest,  they 
feasted  him  well,  and  after  nightfall  while  he  slept 
they  ransacked  his  satchel,  and  took  therefrom  a 
formidable-looking  document  which  proved  to  contain 
an  expose  of  their  plans,  obtained  from  Hoffman's 
papers.  Benyovski  was  equal  to  the  emergency.  He 
w^rote  another  letter  upon  official  paper,  with  which 
he  had  provided  himself  at  Yakutsk,  full  of  the  most 
sober  recommendations  of  the  exiles  to  the  commander 
of  Okhotsk.  This  document  was  inserted  into  the 
pilfered  envelope,  and  carried  forward  to  its  destina- 
tion by  the  unsuspecting  messenger.^ 

The  forged  letter  did  its  work.  When  Benyovski 
and  his  companions  arrived  at  Okhotsk  they  were 
received  with  the  greatest  kindness  by  Colonel  Plen- 
isner,^  the  commandant,  who  regarded  them  as  unfor- 
tunate gentlemen,  like  himself,  not  for  a  moment  to 
be  placed  in  the  category  of  criminals.  Hence  he 
granted  them  every  privilege,  and  supplied  them  freely 
with  food,  clothing,  and  even  arms.  Being  a  man  of 
little  education  and  of  dissipated  habits,  Plenisner  was 

^  Benyov^ki's  Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  67. 

*  Benyovshi's  Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  72;  Morshoi  Sbornik,  cii.  97. 

*  This  man  was  probably  the  same  mentioned  in  connection  with  the  second 
expedition  of  Bering  and  Shcstakof's  campaign  in  the  Chukchi  country,  and 
who  was  appointed  to  tlie  command  of  Kamchatka  in  January  1761,  for  a 
term  of  five  years.  SijiOnef,  in  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cii.  37-8. 


easily  deceived  by  the  plausible  tongue  of  the  courtly 
Pole,  who  quickly  perceived  that  he  had  made  an 
egregious  mistake  in  framing  his  forged  letter.  He 
saw  that  residence  at  Okhotsk  promised  favorable 
opportunity  for  escape  in  view  of  the  confidence  re- 
posed in  him  by  the  commander,  though  he  had 
thought  that  Kamchatka  offered  the  best  facilities, 
and  had  urged  in  the  letter  early  transportation  of 
the  exiles  to  that  locality.  Though  willing  to  oblige 
his  new  friends,  in  every  possible  manner,  Colonel 
Plenisner  did  not  dare  to  act  in  direct  opposition  to 
his  orders,  and  in  October  a  detachment  of  exiles, 
embracing  all  the  conspirators,  was  sent  by  the  ship 
Sv  Petr  i  Sv  Pavel  to  Bolsheretsk,  Kamchatka,^ 
where  they  were  transferred  to  the  charge  of  Captain 
Nilof,  commandant  of  the  district.^ 

^  Benyovski  describes  this  craft  as  of  200  tons  burden,  armed  with  8  can- 
nons, and  manned  with  a  crew  of  43,  commanded  by  Yesurin  and  Korostilof. 
The  vessel  was  laden  with  flour  and  brandy.  Benyovski's  Memoirs  and  Travels, 
i.  79-80. 

^  Benyovski  claims  that  the  passage  was  an  exceedingly  stormy  one,  and 
that  the  ship  was  on  the  verge  of  destruction,  owing  to  the  incapacity  and 
drunkenness  of  both  officers  and  men,  when  he,  a  prisoner  in  irons,  took  com- 
mand and  by  his  '  superior  knowledge  of  navigation  succeeded  in  shortening 
sail  and  bringing  the  vessel  into  its  proper  course,  thus  saving  the  lives  of  all 
on  board.'  As  the  passage  was  a  short  one  we  may  doubt  the  statement  of 
the  boastful  Benyovski.  The  count  also  claimed  that  the  privileges  subse- 
qiiently  granted  him  by  Nilof  were  based  upon  his  heroic  action  on  this  occa- 
sion. Nilof  had  formerly  been  the  commandant  of  the  Cossack  ostrog  of 
Ishiga,  but  Zubritski  when  recalled  to  St  Petersburg  summoned  him  as  his 
successor  in  1769.  He  was  given  to  drink,  and  easily  deceived,  and  had 
ah-eady  been  victimized  by  an  exiled  official  named  Ryshkof.  The  latter  hav- 
ing failed  in  various  attempts  to  trade  with  the  natives,  prevailed  npon  Nilof 
to  advance  sums  from  the  public  funds  for  the  purpose  of  engaging  in  agricult- 
ural experiments.  Of  course  the  money  was  lost  and  the  experiments  resulted 
in  failure.  Sgihnef,  in  Morshoi  Sbornih,  cii.  51-69.  Shortly  after  their  arrival  the 
following  regulations  concerning  the  exiles  were  promulgated  at  Bolsheretsk: 
1st.  The  captives  were  to  be  liberated  from  close  restriction  and  furnished 
with  food  for  three  days;  after  which  they  were  to  provide  their  own  subsist- 
ence. 2d.  The  chancellery  was  to  furnish  each  exile  with  a  gun  and  lance,  one 
pound  of  powder,  four  pounds  of  lead,  an  axe,  some  knives,  and  other  utensils 
with  which  to  build  themselves  a  house.  They  were  at  liberty  to  select  a 
location  within  half  a  league  of  the  town;  each  man  was  to  pay  to  the  gov- 
ernment 100  rubles  during  the  first  year  in  consideration  of  the  advance, 
payments  to  be  made  in  money  or  skins  at  the  option  of  the  exiles.  3d. 
Each  exile  was  bound  to  labor  one  day  of  each  week  for  the  government, 
and  they  were  not  allowed  to  absent  themselves  from  their  location  over  24 
hours  without  permission  of  the  commandant.  Each  was  also  to  furnish  the 
treasury  of  Bolsheretsk  with  6  sables,  2  foxes,  50  gray  sqvdrrels,  and  24 
ermines  annually. 

Hist.  Alaska.    12 


We  may  as  well  take  it  for  granted  before  proceed- 
ing further  that  three  fourths  of  all  that  Benyovski 
says  of  himself  are  lies;  with  this  understanding  I 
will  continue  his  story,  building  it  for  the  most  part 
on  what  others  say  of  him. 

In  Kamchatka  as  in  Okhotsk  through  his  superior 
social  qualifications  the  count  was  enabled  to  gain  the 
confidence  and  good-will  of  the  commander,  so  that  the 
hardships  of  his  position  were  greatly  alleviated.  He 
was  not  obliged  to  join  his  companions  in  the  toilsome 
and  dangerous  chase  of  fur-bearing  animals,  finding 
more  congenial  employment  in  Captain  Nilofs  office 
and  residence.^  The  count  accompanied  his  patron  on 
various  official  tours  of  inspection,  in  which  he  came 
in  contact  with  his  numerous  fellow-exiles  scattered 
through  the  interior  in  small  settlements.  His  origi- 
nal plan  of  escape  from  the  Russian  domains  was  ever 
present  in  his  mind  and  he  neglected  no  opportunity 
to  enlarge  the  membership  of  his  secret  society.  In 
order  to  ingratiate  himself  still  more  with  Nilof  he  re- 
sorted to  his  old  trick  of  forgery,  and  revealed  to  the 
credulous  commaander  an  imaginary  plot  to  poison  him 
and  the  officers  of  his  staff.  He  claimed  in  his  memoirs 
that  in  consideration  of  this  service  Nilof  formally  re- 
voked his  sentence  of  exile. ^ 

While  still  travelling  with  Nilof  in  the  beginning  of 
1771,  Benyovski  intercepted  a  letter  directed  to  the 
former  by  one  of  the  conspirators  betraying  the  plot.^ 

'  Benyovski  goes  out  of  the  way  to  prove  himself  a  great  rascal.  He  ex- 
plains how  he  ingratiated  himself  with  Nilof  and  his  family,  claiming  that  he 
was  employed  as  tutor  to  several  young  girls  and  boys,  and  that  in  his  capa- 
city of  clerk  to  the  father  he  forged  repoi'ts  to  the  impei'ial  government,  prais- 
ing the  conduct  of  the  exiles.  He  also  states  that  he  made  use  of  his  fascinations 
to  work  upon  the  feelings  of  one  of  the  young  daughters,  and  to  gain  control 
of  her  heart  and  mind.  Sgibnef,  however,  a  careful  and  industrious  inves- 
tigator, says,  first,  tliat  the  count  did  not  play  upon  the  afiections  of  Nilof 'a 
daughter,  and  secondly  that  Nilof  never  had  a  daughter.  BenyovsWs  Memoirs 
and  Travels,  i.  100-2;  Morskoi  Sbornik,  cii.  51-69. 

^  Benyovski' s  Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  135-7.  Sgibnef,  however,  states 
that  no  amnesty  or  special  privileges  were  granted  to  Benyovski.  Morskoi 
Shornik,  cii.  69. 

^Benyovski  gives  the  following  list  of  members  of  the  secret  socijty  of 
exiles:  Benyovski,  Panof,  Baturin,  Stepanof  Solmanof,  Windblath,  Krustief, 
and  Vassili,  Benyovski's  servant.  Later  a  lai-ge  number  was  added,  among  them 



The  traitor,  whose  name  was  Leontief,  was  killed  by 
order  of  the  court.  The  plan  settled  upon  for  final 
action  was  to  overcome  the  garrison  of  Bolsheretsk, 
imprison  the  commander,  plunder  the  public  treasury 
and  storehouses,  and  sail  for  Japan  or  some  of  the 
islands  of  the  Pacific  with  as  many  of  the  conspirators 
as  desired  to  go.^° 

Benyovski's  statement  of  his  exploits  at  Kamchatka, 
for  unblushing  impudence  in  the  telling,  borders  the 
sublime.  Arriving  at  Bolsheretsk  on  the  1st  of  De- 
cember a  half-starved  prisoner  clothed  in  rags,  he  was 
advanced  to  the  position  of  confidant  of  the  acting 
governor  before  two  weeks  had  elapsed,  being  also  the 
accepted  suitor  for  the  hand  of  his  daughter.  During 
the  same  time  he  had  succeeded  in  rousing  the  spirit 
of  revolt  not  only  in  the  breasts  of  his  fellow-exiles, 
but  among  the  free  merchants  and  government  offi- 
cials, who  he  claimed  were  ready  to  rise  at  a  moment's 
warning  and  overthrow  their  rulers.  Within  a  few 
days,  or  weeks  at  the  most,  this  grand  conspiracy  had 
not  only  been  called  into  existence  but  had  survived 
spasms  of  internal  dissensions  and  attempted  treason, 
all  suppressed  by  the  strength  and  presence  of  mind 
of  one  man — Benyovski.  Then  he  tells  how  he 
cheated  the  commander  and  others  in  games  and  sold 
his  influence  for  presents  of  furs  and  costly  garments. 
On  the  1st  of  January  1771  a  fete  took  place  at  the 
house  of  Captain    Nilof.     Benyovski  claims  that  it 

many  who  were  not  exiles:  Dumitri  Kuznetzof,  a  free  merchant,  Afanassiy 
Kumen,  a  Cossack  captain;  Ivan  Sibaief,  captain  of  infantry;  Alexei  Proto- 
pop,  archdeacon  of  the  church,  free;  Leonti  Popof,  captain  of  infantry,  free; 
Ivan  Churin,  merchant,  free;  Magnus  INIeder,  surgeon-general  of  the  admi- 
ralty, exiled  for  20  years;  Ivan  Volkof,  hunter,  free;  Kasiinir  Bielski,  Polish 
exile;  Grigor  Lobchof,  colonel  of  infantry,  exile;  Prince  Heraclius  Zadskoi, 
exiled;  Julien  Brandorp,  exiled  Swede;  Nikolai  Serebrennikof,  captain  of  the 
guards,  exile;  Andrei  Biatziuin,  exile.  All  the  members  of  the  Russian  church 
joining  the  conspiracy  were  obliged  fii'st  to  confess  and  receive  the  sacrament 
in  order  to  make  their  oath  more  binding.  Benyovslci's  Memoirs  and  Travels, 
i.  108-9. 

^'' At  that  time  the  province  was  estimated  to  contain  over  15,000  inhabit- 
ants classified  in  the  official  returns  as  follows:  22  infantry  officers;  4'22  Rus- 
sian riflemen;  1,500  Cossacks  and  officers;  26  civil  officers;  82  Russian 
merchants;  700  descendants  of  exiles  (200  females),  free;  1,600  exiles;  8,000 
males  and  3,000  female  natives  of  Kamchatka;  40  Russian  men.  Benyovski's 
Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  301;  Morskoi  Sbornik,  ciii.  81. 


had  been  arranged  to  celebrate  his  betrothal  to  Afan- 
assia  Nilof,  to  whom  he  had  promised  marriage, 
though  already  possessed  of  a  wife  in  Poland.  In 
his  diary  he  states  at  length  how  he  suppressed 
another  counter-conspiracy  a  few  moments  before  pro- 
ceeding to  the  festive  scene,  and  sentenced  two  of  his 
former  companions  to  death.  Meanwhile  Benyovski's 
cruel  and  arbitrary  treatment  of  his  associates  had 
made  him  many  enemies,  and  reports  of  his  designs- 
reached  the  authorities.  He  succeeded  repeatedly  in 
dispersing  the  growing  suspicion,  but  finally  the  dan- 
ger became  so  threatening  that  he  concluded  to  pre- 
cipitate the  execution  of  his  plot. 

On  the  26th  of  April  Captain  Nilof  sent  an  officer 
with  two  Cossacks  to  Benyovski's  residence  with 
orders  to  summon  him  to  the  chancellery,  there  to 
give  an  account  of  his  intentions.  The  summons  of 
the  chief  conspirator  brought  to  the  spot  about  a 
dozen  of  his  associates,  who  bound  and  gagged  the 
captain's  messengers.  Then  hoisting  the  signal  of 
general  revolt,  which  called  all  the  members  of  the 
society  together,  he  proceeded  to  Nilof's  quarters, 
where  the  feeble  show  of  resistance  made  by  the 
trembling  drunkard  and  his  family  furnished  sufficient 
excuse  for  a  general  charge  upon  the  premises.  During 
the  melee  the  commander  was  killed.  The  murder  was 
premeditated,  as  the  best  means  of  preventing  partici- 
pants from  turning  back. 

Before  resolving  upon  the  final  attack,  Benyovski 
had  secured  the  services  of  the  commander  of  the 
only  vessel  then  in  port,  the  Sv  Petr  i  Sv  Pavel, 
and  as  soon  as  the  momentary  success  of  the  enter- 
prise was  assured  his  whole  force  was  set  to  work  to 
repair  and  fit  out  this  craft.  The  magazines  and 
storehouses  were  ransacked,  and  not  satisfied  with 
the  quantity  of  powder  on  hand,  he  shipped  a  supply 
of  sulphur,  saltpetre,  and  charcoal  necessary  for  the 
manufacture  of  that  article. ^^ 

"Benyovski's  o\vn  inventory  of  the    'armament'  of  the  Sv  Petr  i  Sv 


The  interval  between  Benyovski's  accession  to 
power  and  his  departure  to  Bolsheretsk  was  filled 
with  brief  trials  and  severe  punishments  of  recreant 
members  of  his  band  who  endeavored  to  open  the 
way  for  their  own  pardon  by  the  old  authorities 
by  betraying  the  new.  The  knout  was  freely  used, 
and  the  sentence  of  death  imposed  almost  daily.  At 
last  on  the  12th  of  May  the  Sv  Petr  i  Sv  Pavel  sailed 
out  of  the  harbor  of  Bolsheretsk  midst  the  firing 
of  salvos,  the  ringing  of  bells,  and  the  solemn  te 
deum  on  the  quarter-deck.  The  voyage  is  involved 
in  mystery,  caused  chiefly  by  the  contradictory  re- 
ports of  Benyovski  himself.  He  says  he  anchored 
in  a  bay  of  Bering  Island  on  the  19th  of  May,  after  a 
passage  of  seven  days,  took  on  board  twenty-six  bar- 
rels of  water,  and  sailed  again,  after  a  brief  sojourn 
on  the  island,  during  which  he  claimed  to  have  fallen 
in  with  a  Captain  Okhotin  of  the  ship  Elizaveta, 
whom  Benyovski  describes  as  an  exiled  Saxon  noble- 

On  the  7th  of  June  he  claims  to  have  communi- 
cated with  the  Chukchi  in  latitude  64°,  and  only 
three  days  later,  on  the  10th  of  June,  he  landed 
on  the  island  of  Kadiak,  over  1,000  miles  away. 
Another  entry  in  the  count's  diary  describes  his 
arrival  on  the  island  of  Amchitka,  one  of  the  Andrian- 
ovski  group,  on  the  21st  of  June,  and  two  days  later 
the  arrival  of  the  ship  at  Ourumusir,  one  of  the 
Kurile  Islands,  is  noted.  In  explanation  of  this  re- 
markable feat  he  gives  the  speed  of  his  vessel  at  ten 
and  a  half  knots  an  hour,  which  might  be  true,  driven 
by  a  gale.     The  only  part  of  this  journey  susceptible 

Pavel  was  as  follows:  '96  men,  9  of  them  females;  8  cannon;  2  howitzers;  2 
mortars;  120  muskets  with  bayonets;  80  sabres;  60  pistols;  1,600  pounds  of 
powder;  2,000  pounds  of  lead;  800  pounds  of  salt  meat;  1,200  pounds  of  salt 
fish;  3,000  pounds  of  dried  fish;  1,400  pounds  of  whale-oil;  200  pounds  of 
sugar;  500  pounds  of  tea;  4,000  pounds  of  spoiled  flour;  40  pounds  of  butter; 
113  pounds  of  cheese;  6,000  poimds  of  iron;  120  hand-grenades;  900  cannon- 
balls;  50  pounds  of  sulphur;  200  i:>ounds  of  saltpetre;  several  barrels  of  char- 
coal; 36  barrels  of  water;  138  barrels  of  brandy;  126  cases  of  furs;  14  anchors; 
sails  and  cordage;  one  boat  and  one  skiflF.'  Memoirs  and  Travels,  i.  271. 


of  proof  is  the  arrival  of  the  survivors  in  the  harbor 
of  Macao  on  the  Chinese  coast.^^ 

The  successor  of  the  murdered  Nilof  was  Major 
Magnus  Carl  von  Behm,  who  was  appointed  to  the 
full  command  of  Kamchatka  by  an  imperial  oukaz 
dated  April  30,  1772,  but  he  did  not  assume  charge 
of  his  district  until  the  1 5th  of  October  of  the  follow- 
ing year,  having  met  with  detention  in  his  progress 
through  Siberia.  ^^ 

In  1776  the  name  of  Grigor  Ivanovich  Shelikof 
is  first  mentioned  among  the  merchants  engaged  in 
operations  on  the  islands  and  coast  of  north-west 
America.  This  man,  who  has  justly  been  called  the 
founder  of  the  Russian  colonies  on  this  continent,  first 
came  to  Okhotsk  from  Kiakhta  on  the  Chinese  fron- 
tier and  formed  a  partnersliip  with  Lebedef-Lash- 
tochkin  for  the  purpose  of  hunting  and  trading  on 
the  Kurile  Islands.  This  field,  however,  was  not 
large  enough  for  Shelikof 's  ambition,  and  forming 
another  partnership  with  one  Luka  Alin,  he  built  a 

'^Sgibnef  states  that  Benyovski  was  informed  after  his  departure  from 
Bering  Island  that  a  party  of  his  associates  had  laid  plans  to  detain  the  vessel 
and  return  to  Kamchatka.  Several  of  the  accused  -were  punished  by  flogging, 
while  Ismailof  and  Paranchin,  with  the  latter's  wife,  were  put  ashore  on  an 
island  of  the  Kurile  group,  whence  they  were  brought  back  by  Protodiakonof, 
a  trader,  in  1772.  This  would  explain  the  circumstance  that  Cook  could  not 
obtain  any  detinite  information  concerning  Benyovski's  voyage  from  Ismailof 
when  he  met  the  latter  at  Unalaska  in  1778.  Sgibnef,  in  Morskoi  Shornik,  c. 
ii.  6"2-3.  From  jNIacao  Benyovski  managed  to  reach  the  French  colony  on 
Madagascar  Island,  and  finally  he  proceeded  to  Paris  with  the  object  of  ob- 
taining the  assistance  of  the  French  government  in  subjugating  the  natives, 
of  Madagascar.  Here  he  met  with  only  partial  success,  but  definite  informa- 
tion is  extant  to  the  effect  that  on  the  14th  of  April  1774  Benyovski  embarked 
for  Maryland  on  the  ship  Robert  and  Anne.  He  was  accompanied  by  his 
family  and  arrived  at  Baltimore  on  July  8th  the  same  year,  with  a  cargo  of 
merchandise  for  Madagascar  valued  at  £4,000.  In  Baltimore  he  succeeded 
in  obtaining  assistance  from  resident  merchants,  who  chartered  for  him  a 
vessel  of  about  450  tons,  the  I)itr€pid,  armed  with  20  guns,  and  with  this  craft 
he  sailed  from  Baltimore  on  October  25,  1784.  The  last  letter  received  from 
the  count  Avas  dated  from  the  coast  of  Brazil.  A  few  months  later  he  reached 
his  destination  and  at  once  organized  a  conspiracy  for  the  purpose  of  setting 
up  an  independent  government  on  the  island  of  Madagascar,  but  in  an  action 
with  French  colonial  troops  he  was  killed  on  the  23d  of  May  1786. 

^■^  Major  Behm's  salary  was  fixed  at  GOO  rubles  per  ammm,  ami  his  jurisdic- 
tion was  subsequently  cxtcndetl  over  the  Aleutian  Islands  by  an  oukaz  of  the 
governor  general  of  Irkutsk.  Sr/ibnef,  in  Mortshoi  Sbomik,  iii.  7. 


vessel  at  Nishekamchatsk,  named  it  of  course  the  Sv 
Pavel,  and  despatched  it  to  the  islands.^*  Another 
vessel  of  the  same  name  was  fitted  out  by  the  most 
fortunate  of  all  the  Siberian  adventurers,  Orekhof, 
Lapin,  and  Shilof  The  command  was  given  to  Master 
Gerassim  Grigorovich  Ismailof,  a  man  who  subse- 
quently figures  prominently  in  explorations  of  Alaska, 
and  of  whom  Cook  speaks  in  terms  of  high  commenda- 

Leaving  the  discussion  of  the  voyages  of  English 
and  French  explorers,  which  took  place  about  this 
time,  to  another  chapter,  we  shall  follow  the  move- 
ments of  Siberian  traders  and  promyshleniki  up  to 
the  point  of  final  amalgamation  into  a  few  power- 
ful companies.  In  1777  Shelikof,  Solovief,  and  the 
Panof  brothers  fitted  out  a  vessel  named  the  Bai^- 
folome'i  i  Varnabas,  which  sailed  from  Nishekam- 
chatsk  and  returned  after  an  absence  of  four  years  with 
a  small  cargo  valued  at  58,000  rubles.'^  In  the  same 
year  another  trader,  who  was  to  play  a  prominent 
part  in  the  development  of  the  Russian  colonies  in 
the  Pacific,  first  appears  upon  the  scene.     Ivan  Lari- 

^*  It  was  commanded  by  Sapochnikof ,  of  whom  Cook  speaks  in  terms  of 
praise.  This  vessel  returned  in  1780  with  a  cargo  valued  at  75,240  rubles. 
Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  101,  app. 

^^Cook  spells  his  name  Erasim  Gregorieoff  Sin  Ismyloff.  Cook's  Voy.,  ii. 
497.  Gregorief  Sin  is  an  obsolete  form  of  Grigorovich,  both  signifying  '  son 
of  Grigor.'  Ismailof  was  considered  one  of  the  most  successful  navigators 
among  the  Russian  pioneers.  Much  of  this  reputation  he  doubtless  owed  to 
the  information  received  from  Cook,  who  speaks  of  his  intelligence  and  acute- 
ness  of  observation.  Concerning  his  escape  from  Benyovski,  see  note  12. 
The  name  of  Ismailof's  vessel,  the  Sv  Pavel,  led  Corporal  Ledyard,  of  Cook's 
marine  guard,  and  subsequently  a  self-styled  American  colonel,  into  the  mis- 
take of  reporting  that  he  saw  at  Unalaska  the  very  vessel  in  which  Bering  made 
his  voyage  of  discovery,  the  corporal  being  unaware  that  that  craft  had  been 
destroyed.  Life  of  Ledyard,  86;  Pinherton's  Voy.,  xvi.  781-2;  Cook's  Third 
Voy.,  ii.  494,  523.  Berg  states  that  he  could  find  no  accounts  of  the  present 
voyage  bejtend  a  brief  notice  of  Ismailof's  return  in  1781  with  a  very  rich 
cargo  valued  at  172,000  rubles.  Khronol.  1st.,  101.  His  peredovchik  was 
Ivan  Lukanin.  He  commanded  the  Trekh  Sviatiteli  in  1783,  the  vessel  on 
which  Shelikof  himself  embarked,  the  Simeon  m  1793,  on  which  occasion  he 
met  Vancouver's  oflQcers,  without  telling  them  of  his  intercourse  with  Cook, 
and  the  Alexandr  in  1795.  Berg,  Kronol.  1st.,  Table  ii.,  app. 

^••Berg,  Khronol  1st.,  mentions  the  despatch  of  the  &\\v^  Alexand  Nevski 
by  the  brothers  Panof  in  1776,  and  its  return  in  1779,  but  gives  no  details  of 
the  voyage.     This  is  probably  an  error.     See  p.  169. 


novich  Golikof,  a  merchant  of  the  town  of  Kursk, 
who  held  the  office  of  collector  of  the  spirits  tax  in 
the  province  of  Irkutsk/^  formed  a  partnership  with 
Shelikof  At  joint  expense  they  built  a  ship  named 
Sv  Andrei  Pervosvannui,  that  is  to  say  St  Andrew 
the  First-called,  which  sailed  from  Petropavlovsk  for 
the  Aleutian  Islands.  This  vessel  was  subsequently 
wrecked, but  the  whole  cargo,  valued  at  133,450  rubles, 
was  saved. ^^  Another  ship,  the  Zossima  i  Savatia, 
was  despatched  in  the  same  year  by  Yakof  Protas- 
sof,  but  after  remaining  four  years  on  the  nearest 
Aleutian  isles,  the  expedition  returned  with  a  small 
cargo  valued  at  less  than  50,000  rubles.  In  1778 
the  two  Panof  brothers  associated  themselves  with 
Arsenius  Kuznetzof,  also  one  of  the  former  com- 
panions of  Benyovski,^^  and  constructed  a  vessel 
named  the  Sv  Nikolai,  which  sailed  from  Petropav- 
lovsk. This  craft  was  absent  seven  years  and  finally 
rewarded  the  patience  of  the  owners  with  a  rich  cargo 
consisting  of  2,521  sea-otters,  230  land-otters,  and 
3,300  foxes  of  various  kinds.^*^  The  same  firm  de- 
spatched another  vessel  in  the  same  year,  the  Kliment, 
which  returned  in  1785  with  a  cargo  of  1,118  sea- 
otters,  500  land-otters,  and  830  foxes.  The  com- 
mander of  this  expedition  was  Ocheredin.^^ 

^'' Berg.  KhronoL  1st.,  102. 

'^^ Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  app. ;  Grewinqh,  Beitr.,  321. 

^^Bcrg,  Khronol.  1st.,  103;  Syn  Otechestva,  1S21,  No.  27. 

^'^ Berg,  Klironol.  1st.,  105.  The  nature  of  the  cargo  would  indicate  that  at 
least  a  portion  of  the  cruise  was  spent  in  the  vicinity  of  the  mainland  of 

2^  Though  Polutof  appears  to  have  brought  it  home.  Berg  during  his 
sojourn  at  Kadiak  had  an  opportunity  to  converse  with  a  hunter  named 
Tuyurskoi,  who  liad  been  one  of  Ochercdin's  crew.  This  man  stated  that 
the  expedition  had  passed  the  winter  of  1779  at  Kadiak,  and  that  they  had 
witli  them  GO  Aleuts  for  the  purpose  of  hunting  sea-otters.  The  Kadiaks, 
however,  would  not  allow  these  men  to  hunt,  scarcely  permitting  t^ein  to  land 
even.  During  the  whole  winter,  which  was  passed  under  constant  appre- 
hension of  attacks,  only  100  sca-ottex's  were  secured,  and  20  of  the  crew  died 
of  scurvy.  In  the  spring  the  promyshleniki  made  all  haste  to  proceed  to 
Unalaska.  Berg,  Khronol .  l.-^f.,  104-7.  Berg  also  .states  that  another  craft  of 
the  same  name,  >i^  N/Jco/ai,  the  property  of  Shelikof  and  Kozitzin,  sailed  for 
the  islands  in  1778,  but  he  could  find  no  details  concerning  the  voyage  in  the 
archives  beyond  the  statement  that  the  same  vessel  made  three  successive 
voyages  in  the  same  direction.     Kadiak,  east  of  the  Alaska  peninsula.     On 


The  ship  Sv  loami  Predtecha,  or  St  John  the  Fore- 
runner, belonging  to  Shehkof  and  Gohkof,  sailed 
from  Petropavlovsk  in  1779,  and  remained  absent  six 
years  without  proceeding  beyond  the  nearest  Aleutian 
Islands,  finally  returning  to  Okhotsk  with  a  cargo  of 
little  value.  In  the  following  year  the  brothers  Panof 
iitted  out  once  more  the  Sv  Yei'iol.  This  old  craft  was 
wrecked  on  her  return  voyage  not  far  from  Kam- 
chatka, but  the  cargo,  valued  at  70,000  rubles,  was 
saved  and  brought  into  port  by  another  vessel. ^^ 

With  the  funds  realized  from  the  sale  of  the  cargo 
of  the  Sv  Pavel  Shelikof  had  constructed  another  craft, 
with  the  intention  of  extending  his  operations  among 
the  islands.  The  vessel  was  named  the  Sv  loann  Ryl- 
skoi,  St  John  of  Rylsk,  and  sailed  from  Petropavlovsk 
in  1780.-3 

The  Sv  Prokop,  fitted  out  by  the  merchants  Shu- 
ralef  and  Krivorotof,  also  sailed  in  1780,  but  was 
w^recked  on  the  coast  of  Kamchatka  soon  after  leav- 
ing Okhotsk.  Four  vessels  sailed  for  the  islands  in 
1781,  the  Sv  Pavel,  despatched  for  the  second  time  by 
Shelikof  and  Alin;  the  Sv  Alexei,  despatched  by  the 
merchant  Popof;  the  Alexandr  Nevski,  belonging  to 
the  firm  of  Orekhof,  Lapin,  and  Shilof;^*  and  Sv 
Georgiy,  fitted  out  by  Lebedef-Lastochkin  and  Sheli- 
kof, wherein  Pribylof  made  the  all-important  discovery 
of  the  Fur  Seal  Islands  in  1786,^'  which  will  be  duly 

Cook's  Athiii,  1778,  P<l  Kadjac;  La  P^rouse,  1786,  J.  Kichtak;  Dixon,  1789, 
Kodiac;  Vancouver,  1790-95,  Kodiak;  Sutil  y  Mex.,  Viage,  Isla  Kadlac; 
Hohnberg,  Kadjalc.  Cartog.  Pac.  Coast,  MS.,  iii.  434. 

-'Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  107;  Grewhigk,  Beitr.,  S'23. 

"'■^  After  an  absence  of  six  years  this  vessel  returned,  but  was  wrecked  on 
the  coast  of  Kamchatka.  The  cargo,  however,  comprising  900  sea-otters  and 
over  18,000  fur-seals,  was  saved.  Shelikof  seems  to  have  been  the  first  among 
the  traders  to  deal  more  extensively  in  fur-seals.  JJp  to  1780  he  had  imported 
70,000  of  these  skins.   Berg,  Khronol.  U.,  106-7. 

^'The  Sv  Pavel  returned  after  a  five  years'  cruise  with  a  cargo  valued  at 
35,000  rubles;  the  Sv  Alexei  also  returned  after  an  absence  of  five  years  and 
met  with  great  success;  the  Alexandr  Nevski,  which  had  just  made  a  cruise 
to  the  Kurile  Islands  under  the  command  of  the  Greek,  Eustrate  Delarof,  was 
placed  under  the  command  of  Stepan  Zaikof  for  this  expedition,  and  returned 
in  five  years  with  a  rich  assortment  of  furs,  valued  at  283,000  rubles,  Berg, 
Khronol.  1st.,  807-9.     See  note  19. 

'■^^  After  an  eight  years'  cruise  Pribylof  returned  to  Okhotsk  with  a  cargo  of 
2,720  sea-otters,   31,100  fur-seals,  nearly  8,000  foxes,  and  a  large  quantity 


discussed  in  its  chronological  order.  For  1782  only 
one  departure  of  a  trading-vessel  for  the  islands  has 
been  recorded.  This  vessel  was  fitted  out  by  Yakov 
Protassof  at  Nishekamchatsk.'^'^  Lebedef-Lastochkin 
organized  a  special  company  in  1783  for  the  purpose 
of  extending  his  operations  on  the  islands.  The  capital 
of  this  enterprise  was  divided  into  sixty-five  shares, 
most  of  them  being  in  Lebedef's  hands.^'' 

In  1783  the  first  direct  attempt  was  made  by  the 
Russian  traders  to  extend  their  operations  to  the  main- 
land of  America,  to  the  northward  and  eastward  of 
Kadiak.  The  fur-bearing  animals  had  for  some  years 
been  rapidly  disappearing  from  the  Aleutian  Islands 
and  the  lower  peninsula,  and  despairing  of  further 
success  on  the  old  hunting-grounds  the  commanders 
of  three  vessels  then  anchored  at  Unalaska  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  was  best  to  embark  on  new  dis- 
coveries. They  met  and  agreed  to  submit  themselves 
to  the  leadership  of  Potap  Zaikof,  a  navigator  of  some 

of  walrus  ivory  and  whalebone.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  107;  Veniaminof,  i.  131-2; 
Sauer's  Astron.  and  Georj.  Exjjed.,  246;  Grewmgk,  Beitr.,  323. 

^^  Protassof  s  vessel  returned  in  17S6,  and  according  to  Berg  his  cargo  con- 
sisted chiefly  of  fur-seals.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  111.  As  the  discovery  of  the 
Seal  Islands  occurred  in  that  year  the  skins  must  have  been  obtained  at  the 
Commander  Islands. 

*'  Berg  furnishes  a  full  list  of  the  share-holders,  which  may  serve  to  demon- 
strate how  such  affairs  were  managed  in  those  early  times.  The  65  shares 
were  divided  as  follows:  The  merchant  Lebedef-Lastochkin,  34  shares;  Ye- 
fim  Popof,  1  share;  Grigor  Deshurinskoi,  1  shai'e;  Elias  Zavialof,  1  share; 
Ivan  Korotaief,  1  share;  Vassili  Neviashin,  1  share;  Mikhail  Issaief,  1  share; 
Vassili  Shapkin,  2  shares;  Vassili  Kulof,  I  share;  Mikhail  Tubinskoi,  1  share; 
Feodor  Nikuliaskoi,  2  shares;  Arseni  Kuznetzof,  1  share;  Vassili  Krivishin, 
1  share;  Mikhail  Dushakof,  2  shares;  Ivan  Lapin,  2  shares;  Alexei  Polevoi, 

1  share;  Ivan  Bolsheretsk,  2  shares;  Dmitri  Lorokin,  1  share;  the  manu- 
facturer, Ivan  Savelief,  5  shares;  the  citizen,  Ssava  Chebykin,  l|share;  the 
citizen,  Spiridon  Burakof,  1  share;  and  Court  Counsellor  Peter  Budishchef, 

2  shares :  total,  65. 

In  the  division  of  profits  there  were  to  be  added  to  this  number  1  share 
for  the  church,  and  the  orphans  in  the  school  of  Okhotsk;  1  share  to  the 
peredovchik,  Petr  Kolomin,  1  share  to  the  boatswam,  Durygin,  1  shai-e  to 
the  navigator,  Potap  Zaikof,  and  2  shares  to  such  of  the  crew  as  distinguished 
themselves  during  the  voyage  by  industry,  bravery,  or  otherwise,  making  the 
value  of  1  share  at  the  division  of  profits  one  seventy-first  of  the  whole  pro- 
ceeds. Berg,  Khronol,  1st.,  109,  211;  Grewingk,  Beitr.,  324;  Pallas,  Nord. 
Beitr.,  vi.  165,  175.  At  the  end  of  the  cruise  the  first  vessel  sent  by  this 
company  was  -wrecked  on  the  island  of  St  Paul.  The  cargo  was  saved,  but 
pi'oved  barely  sufficient  to  cover  expenses. 



reputation,  and  leave  to  him  the  selection  of  new  hunt- 
ing-grounds. These  vessels  were  the  Sv  Alexei,  com- 
manded by  Eustrate  Delarof ;  the  Sv  Mikhail,  under 
Polutof,  and  the  Alexandr  Nevski,  commanded  by 
Za'ikof.  The  latter  had  learned  from  Captain  Cook 
and  his  companions  during  their  sojourn  in  Kam- 
chatka that  they  had  discovered  a  vast  gulf  on  the 
coast  of  America  and  named  it  Prince  William  Sound.^ 
To  this  point  he  concluded  to  shape  his  course. 

On  the  27th  of  July  the  three  ships  were  towed  to 
anchorage  in  a  small  cove,  probably  on  the  north  side 
of  Kaye  Island,  which,  as  they  subsequently  discov- 
ered, was  named  Kyak  by  the  natives.  Boats  and 
bidarkas  were  sent  out  at  once  in  various  directions 
in  search  of  game  and  of  inhabitants — the  few  natives 
observed  on  entering  the  bay  having  fled  to  the  hills 
at  sight  of  the  Russians.  On  the  third  day  one  of 
the  detached  parties  succeeded  in  bringing  to  the 
ships  a  girl  and  two  small  children,  but  it  was  not 
until  the  middle  of  August  that  anything  like  friendly 
intercourse  could  be  established,  and  the  natives  in- 
duced to  trade  peltries. ^^ 

On  the  18th  the  bidarchik  Nagaief  returned  to  the 
anchorage  with  quite  a  number  of  sea-otter  skins,  all 
made  into  garments,  and  reported  the  discovery  of  a 
large  river — the  Atnah,  or  Copper — which  he  had 
ascended  for  some  distance.  He  had  met  with  a  large 
body  of  natives  in  a  bidar  and  traded  with  them,  both 
parties  landing  on  the  beach  at  a  distance  of  six 
hundred  fathoms  from  each  other  and  then  meeting 
half-way.  These  people  informed  him  that  at  their 
home  was  a  safe  harbor  for  ships,  referring  of  course 

^^  Zaikof  had  obtained  rough  tracings  of  some  of  the  charts  compiled  by 
Cook  in  exchange  for  favors  extended  to  the  English  discoverer.  Tikhmenef, 
i.  113.  It  is  supposed  that  the  Sv  Yevpl,  177o-79,  reached  the  continent, 
and  probably  the  Sv  Nikolai  and  others,  but  this  ■«  as  accidental. 

■■'^  Two  natives  who  were  kept  as  hostages  on  Zaikof 's  vessel  stated  that 
Kyak  was  not  a  permanent  place  of  residence,  but  was  visited  only  in  search 
of  game  by  the  people  seen  by  the  Russians,  their  homes  being  to  the  west- 
ward, at  the  distance  of  'two  days'  paddling,'  from  which  statement  we  may 
conclude  that  they  were  from  Nuchek  or  Hinchinbrook  Island.  Zaiko/'s  Jour- 
nal, in  Sitka  Archives,  MS.,  iv. ;  TikJin.enef,  1st.  Ohos.,  ii.,  app.  3. 


to  Nuchek,  where  both  Enghsh  and  Spanish  ships 
had  already  called.  Many  days  were  spent  by  Zaikof 
in  futile  attempts  to  secure  a  native  guide  to  the  safe 
harbor  mentioned  as  having  already  been  visited  by 
ships,  but  bribes  and  promises  proved  of  no  avail, 
and  at  last  he  set  out  in  the  direction  of  the  island 
of  Khta-aluk  (Nuchek),  plainly  visible  to  the  west- 
ward. The  commanders  of  the  two  other  ships  must 
have  sailed  before  him  and  cruised  about  Prince  Will- 
iam Sound — named  gulf  of  Chugach  by  the  Russians 
— in  search  of  hunting-grounds,  and  this  scattering  of 
forces  beyond  the  bounds  of  proper  control  proved 
dangerous,  for  the  Chugatsches  were  not  only  fiercer 
than  the  Aleuts,  but  they  seemed  to  entertain  posi- 
tive ideas  of  proprietary  rights. 

The  combined  crews  of  the  three  vessels,  number- 
ing over  three  hundred,  including  Aleut  hunters, 
would  surely  have  been  able  to  withstand  any  attack 
of  the  poorly  armed  Chugatsches  and  to  protect  their 
hunting  parties,  but  they  wandered  about  in  small  de- 
tachments, committing  outrages  whenever  they  came 
upon  a  village  with  unprotected  women  and  children. 
The  Russians,  who  had  for  some  time  been  accus- 
tomed to  overcome  all  opposition  on  the  part  of  the 
natives  with  comparative  ease,  imagined  that  their 
superior  arms  would  give  them  the  same  advantage 
here.  They  soon  discovered  their  mistake.  The  Chu- 
gatsches, as  well  as  their  allies  from  Cook  Inlet,  and 
even  from  Kadiak,  summoned  by  fleet  messengers  for 
the  occasion,  showed  little  fear  of  Russian  guns,  and 
used  their  own  spears  and  arrows  to  such  advantage 
that  the  invaders  were  themselves  beaten  in  several 

In  the  harbor  of  Nuchek  Nagaief  met  twenty- 
eight  men  from  the  Panof  company's  ship,  the  Alexe'i, 
fourteen  of  whom  had  been  wounded  by  the  Chu- 
gatsches during  a  night  attack.  They  had  left  their 
ships  on  the  15th  of  August,  a  month  previous,  in 
search  of  this  bay,  numbering  thirty-seven  men,  be- 


sides  peredovchik  Lazaref,  who  was  in  command,  but 
had  searched  in  vain.  One  dark  night,  while  encamped 
on  an  island,  their  sentries  had  been  surprised,  nine 
men  killed,  and  half  of  the  remainder  wounded.  With 
the  greatest  difficulty  only  had  they  succeeded  at  last 
in  beating  off  with  their  fire-arms  their  assailants 
armed  merely  with  spears,  bows  and  arrows,  and  clubs. 
Other  encounters  took  place.  On  the  18th  of  Septem- 
ber one  of  the  parties  of  Russians  surprised  a  native 
village  on  a  small  island;  the  men  fled  to  the  moun- 
tains, leaving  women,  children,  and  stores  of  provisions. 
The  considerate  promyshleniki  seized  "  only  half"  the 
females — probably  not  the  oldest — and  some  of  the 
food.  During  the  next  night,  however,  the  men  of 
the  village,  with  reenforcements  from  the  neighbor- 
hood, attacked  the  Russian  camp,  killing  three  Rus- 
sians and  a  female  interpreter  from  Unalaska,  and 
wounding  nine  men.  During  the  struggle  all  the  hos- 
tages thus  far  obtained  by  capture  escaped,  with  the 
exception  of  four  women  and  two  small  boys.  The 
Russians  now  proceeded  to  the  harbor  selected  as 
winter-quarters,^"  and  active  operations  ceased  for 
the  time. 

The  favorable  season  had  been  so  foolishly  wasted 
in  roaming  about  and  quarrelling  with  the  natives, 
who  took  good  care  not  to  reveal  to  their  unwel- 
come visitors  the  best  fishing  and  hunting  grounds, 
that  food  became  scarce  early  in  the  winter.  Be- 
sides this  it  was  found  necessary  to  keep  one  third 
of  the  force  continually  under  arms  to  guard  against 
sudden  assaults;  and  this  hostility  naturally  inter- 
fered with  the  search  for  the  necessary  supplies  of 
fish,  game,,  fuel,  and  water.  The  result  was  that  scurvy 
of  a  very  malignant  type  broke  out  among  the  crews, 
and  nearly  one  half  of  the  men  died  before  spring  re- 
leased them  and  enabled  Zaikof  to  refit  his  vessel  and 

^°  The  description  of  this  harbor  is  not  very  clear,  but  the  probability  is 
that  it  was  one  of  the  bays  on  the  north  end  of  Montagu,  or  Sukluk,  Island, 
which  is  named  Zaikof  Harbor  on  Russian  maps.  This  is  also  confirmed  by 
traditions  of  the  natives  collected  on  the  spot  by  Mr  Petrof  in  1881. 


sail  for  the  Aleutian  isles,  after  an  experience  fully  as 
dismal  as  that  encountered  a  few  years  later,  in  nearly 
the  same  locality,  by  Captain  Meares,  who  might  have 
saved  himself  much  misfortune  had  he  known  of  Zai- 
kof's  attempt  and  its  disastrous  result. 

Thus  unfortunately  ended  the  attempt  of  the  Rus- 
sians to  gain  a  foothold  upon  the  continental  coast  of 

The  only  subordinate  commander  of  this  expedition 
who  seems  to  have  actually  explored  and  intelligently 

*^  Eustraie  Delarof  subsequently  gave  Captain  Billings  the  following  ac- 
count of  this  expedition :  '  On  arriving  at  Prince  William  Sound  a  number  of 
canoes  surrounded  the  vessel  and  on  one  of  them  they  displayed  some  kind  of 
a  flag.  I  hoisted  ours,  wlienthe  natives  paddled  three  times  around  the  ship, 
one  man  standing  up  waving  his  hands  and  chanting.  They  came  on  board 
and  I  obtained  fourteen  sea-otter  skins  in  exchange  for  some  glass  beads;  they 
would  accept  no  shirts  or  any  kind  of  clothing;  they  conducted  themselves 
in  a  friendly  manner,  and  we  ate,  drank,  and  slept  together  in  the  greatest 
harmony.  They  said  that  two  ships  had  been  there  some  years  previously, 
and  that  they  had  obtained  beads  and  other  articles  from  them.  According  to 
their  description  these  vessels  must  have  been  English  (they  referred  of  course 
to  Cook's  expedition) ;  the  natives  had  knives  and  copper  kettles  which  they 
said  they  obtained  by  making  a  14  days'  journey  up  a  large  river  and  trading 
with  other  natives  who  brought  these  goods  from  some  locality  still  farther 
inland  (a  Hudson's  Bay  Company  post?) — Suddenly,  on  the  8th  of  September, 
the  natives  changed  their  attitude,  making  a  furious  attack  on  my  people. 
I  knew  of  no  cause  for  this  change  until  one  of  my  boats  returned,  when  I 
learned  that  there  had  been  quarrelling  and  fighting  between  the  boat's  crew 
and  the  natives.  I  have  no  doubt  that  my  people  were  the  aggressors. 
Polutof's  vessel  was  at  that  time  in  the  vicinity  and  I  left  him  there.'  Saver\s 
Geor/.cmd  Astron.  JExped.,  197.  Martin  Sauer,  the  secretary  of  Captain  Joseph 
Billings,  states  that  while  at  Prince  William  Sound  in  1790  he  fell  in  with  a 
woman  who  had  been  forcibly  detained  by  Polutof  and  had  subsequently 
become  acquainted  with  Zaikof.  She  praised  the  latter  as  a  just  man  and 
related  how  her  people  revenged  themselves  on  Polutof  for  his  ill-treatment. 
A  wood-cutting  party  had  been  sent  ashore  from  each  vessel  and  had  pitched 
their  tents  a  short  distance  from  each  other.  It  was  very  dark  and  only  one 
man  was  on  the  watch  near  a  fire  on  the  beach.  The  natives  crawled  up 
unnoticed  by  the  sentry,  killed  him,  and  then  stealing  into  Polutof's  tent 
massacred  him  and  his  companions  without  molesting  Zaikof 's  tent  or  any  of 
his  people.  Bitter  complaints  were  made  by  the  Chugatsche  people  of  the  do- 
ings of  Polutof  who  liad  seized  their  furs  without  paying  for  them  and  had 
carried  off  by  force  many  of  the  women.  Salter's  Geag.  and  Astron.  Exped.,  i. 
187,  190;  Grewljiijl;  Beilr.,  323;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beih:,  i.  212.  In  the  historical 
review  attached  by  Mr  Dall  to  his  Alaska  and  its  Resources,  the  author  has 
committed  blunders  which  can  be  ascribed  only  to  his  inability  to  understand 
the  Russian  authorities.  Under  date  of  1781  he  remarks  that  '  ZaiUof  ex- 
plored in  detail  Chugach  Gulf  and  wintered  on  Bering  Island... A  vessel, 
called  the  St  Acxius,  commanded  by  Alexeief  Popof,  was  attacked  by  natives 
in  Prince  William  Sound.  Zaikof  explored  Captain's  Harbor,  Uiialaska,  July 
1-13,  1783.'  /(/.,  307.  Mr  Dall's  Zaikof  expedition  of  1781  is,  of  course,  the 
same  with  that  of  1783,  when  he  wintered  on  Montagu  (not  Bering)  Island,  in 
a  bay  still  bearing  his  name.  TheAlexei,  as  we  have  seen  above,  was  cora- 
mamled  by  Delarof. 


described  these  unknown  regions,  was  Nagaief,  the 
discoverer  of  Copper  River.  Nearly  all  the  valuable 
information  contained  in  Zaikof's  journal  came  from 
this  man.^^ 

This  failure  to  extend  their  field  of  operations  seri- 
ously checked  the  spirit  of  enterprise  which  had  hith- 
erto manifested  itself  among  the  Siberian  merchants, 
and  for  some  time  only  one  small  vessel  was  despatched 
from  Siberia  for  the  Aleutian  Islands. ^^ 

The  year  1786,  as  already  mentioned,  witnessed  the 
discovery  of  the  Fur  Seal  Islands,  the  breeding-ground 
of  the  seals,  and  therefore  of  the  highest  importance. 
The  Russian  promyshleniki  who  first  visited  the  Fox 
Islands  soon  began  to  surmise  the  existence  of  some 
islands  in  the  north  by  observing  the  annual  migra- 
tion of  the  fur-seals  through  the  passes  between  cer- 
tain of  the  islands— northward  in  the  spring  and 
southward  in  the  autumn,  when  they  were  accom- 
panied by  their  young.  This  surmise  was  confirmed 
by  an  Aleut  tradition  to  the  effect  that  a  young  chief- 
tain of  Unimak  had  once  been  cast  away  on  a  group 
of  islands  in  the  north,  which  they  called  Amik.^*    The 

^^Nagaief  told  Zaikof  that  the  natives  he  had  encountered  called  them- 
selves Chugatches,  and  that  they  met  in  war  and  trade  five  other  tribes :  1st, 
the  Koniagas,  or  people  of  Kadiak;  2d,  a  tribe  living  on  a  gulf  of  the  main 
land  between  Kadiak  and  the  Chugatsche  country,  named  the  Kinaias;  3d,  the 
YuUits,  living  on  the  large  river  discovered  by  Nagaief;  4th,  a  tribe  living  on 
the  coast  of  the  mainland  from  Kyak  Island  eastward,  called  Lakhamit; 
and  5th,  beyond  these  again  tlie  Kaljush,  a  warlike  tribe  with  large  wooden 
boats.  This  description  of  the  tribes  and  their  location  was  doubtless  cor- 
rect at  the  time,  though  the  'Lakharaite'  (the  Aglegmutes)  have  since  been 
pushed  eastwai-d  of  Kyak  Island  by  the  Kaljushes,  or  Thlinkeets.  Nagaief  also 
correctly  stated  that  the  YuUits,  or  Copper  River  natives,  lived  only  on  the 
upi^er  river,  but  traded  copper  and  land-furs  with  the  coast  people  for  seal- 
skins, dried  fish,  and  oil.  Zaikof's  Journal,  MS.;  Sitka  Archives,  iv.;  Tikme- 
nef,  1st.,  Obosr.,  ii.,  app.,  7,  8.  Zaikof's  own  description  of  the  country,  its 
resources,  its  people,  and  the  manners  and  customs,  is  both  minute  and  cor- 
rect. His  manuscript  journal  is  still  in  existence,  and  it  furnishes  proof 
positive  that  his  visit  to  Prince  William  Sound  in  1783  was  the  first  made  by 
him  or  any  other  Russian  in  a  sea-goiag  vessel. 

^*  The  (S";;  Georgiy  left  Nishekamchatsk  on  Panof 's  account,  and  returned 
in  two  yeai's  with  a  little  over  1,000  fui'-seals  and  less  than  200  blue  foxes, 
having  evidently  confined  its  operations  to  the  Commander  Islands.  The 
same  vessel  made  another  voyage  in  1787,  remaining  absent  six  years,  but 
with  an  equally  unsatisfactory  result.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  114-15. 

"•^A  term  and  incident  commemorated  in  a  native  song.  Veniaminof,  Za- 
piski,  ii.  269;  i.  17;  Sarychef,  Putesh.,  i.  28. 


high  peaks  of  his  native  place  had  guided  him  back 
after  a  short  stay.  While  furs  remained  abundant  on 
the  groups  already  known,  none  chose  to  expose  him- 
self in  frail  boats  to  seek  new  lands;  but  in  and  after 
1781  the  rapid  depletion  of  the  hunting-grounds  led 
to  many  a  search  for  Amik;  yet  while  it  lay  within 
two  days'  sail  from  the  southern  isles,  a  friendly 
mist  long  hid  the  home  of  the  fur-seals  from  the 

In  1786  this  search  was  joined  by  Master  Gerassim 
Pribylof,^^  who  for  five  years  had  been  hunting  and 
trading  with  little  profit  on  the  islands,  in  the  Su 
Georguj,  fitted  out  by  Lebedef-Lastochkin  and  his 
partners.  Although  reputed  a  skillful  navigator,  he 
cruised  for  over  three  weeks  around  the  Amik  group 
without  finding  them,  though  constantl}^  meeting  with 
unmistakable  evidence  of  the  close  proximity  of  land. 
At  last,  in  the  first  days  of  June,  fate  favored  the 
persistent  explorer;  the  mantle  of  fog  was  lifted  and 
before  him  loomed  the  high  coast  of  the  eastern  end 
of  the  most  southern  island.  The  discovery  was 
named  St  George,  after  Pribylof's  vessel;  but  finding 
no  anchorage  the  commander  ordered  the  peredovchik 
Popof  and  all  the  hunters  to  land,  with  a  supply  of 
provisions  for  the  winter,  while  he  stood  away  again 
for  the  Aleutian  Islands,  there  to  spread  such  reports 
as  to  keep  others  from  following  his  path. 

The  shores  of  St  George  literally  swarmed  with 
sea-otters,  Avhich  undisturbed  so  far  by  human  beings 
could  be  killed  as  easily  as  those  of  Bering  Island 
during  the  first  winter  after  its  discovery.  Large 
numbers  of  walrus  were  secured  on  the  ice  and  upon 
the  adjoining  small  islands ;  arctic  foxes  could  be  caught 
by  hand,  and  with  the  approach  of  summer  the  fur- 
seals  made  their  appearance  by  thousands.^^ 

^^His  name  was  G«rassim  Gavrilovich  Pribylof.  Veniaminof  gives  his 
name  as  Ga\Tilo  on  one  occasion.  ZapisJci,  ii.  271.  He  was  a  master  in  the 
navy,  connected  with  the  port  of  Okhotsk,  but  entered  the  employ  of  Lebedef- 
Lastochkm  and  his  partners  in  1778.  Id. 

36  Shelikof  in  a  letter  to  Delarof,  dated  Okhotsk,  1789,  stated  that  durin.'; 


On  the  29th  of  June,  1787,  an  unusually  clear 
atmosphere  enabled  the  promyshleniki  to  see  for  the 
first  time  the  island  of  St  Paul,  thirty  miles  to  the 
northward;  and  the  sea  being  smooth  a  bidar  was  at 
once  despatched  to  examine  the  new  discovery.  The 
party  landed  upon  the  other  island  the  same  day,  and 
named  it  St  Peter  and  St  Paul,  the  saints  of  the  day.^'' 
The  first  half  of  the  name,  however,  was  soon  lost  in 
popular  usage  and  only  St  Paul  retained.  The  group 
was  known  as  the  Pribylof.^^ 

While  Shelikof  was  one  of  the  partners  who  had 
fitted  out  the  Sv  Georgiy,  he  does  not  appear  to  have 
held  a  large  interest  and  looked  with  no  little  envy 
on  the  success  achieved  by  what  must  be  regarded  as 
rivals  to  his  own  company.  He  did  not  waste  much 
time,  however,  in  unpleasant  sentiments,  but  set  about 
at  once  to  secretly  buy  up  more  shares  in  the  Lebedef 
company.  In  this  undertaking  he  succeeded  so  well 
that  he  could  look  with  equanimity  upon  the  fierce 
rivalry  growing  up  between  the  two  large  firms;  no 
matter  which  side  gained  an  advantage,  he  felt  secure. 
He  was  certainly  the  first  who  fully  understood  the 
actual  and  prospective  value  of  Pribylof's  discovery. 

the  first  year  the  hunters  obtained  on  the  newly  discovered  islands  40,000 
fur-seal  skins,  2,000  sea-otters,  400  pounds  (14,400  lbs.)  of  walrus  ivory,  and 
more  whalebone  than  the  ship  could  carry.  Shelikof  upbraided  Delarof  for 
not  having  anticipated  this  discovery,  with  two  good  ships  at  his  command. 
Tihhmenef,  1st.  Obozr.,  ii.  app.  21. 

^'  Owing  to  the  constant  fog  and  murky  atmosphere  that  envelop  the  islands, 
the  less  elevated  St  Paul  is  rarely  seen  from  St  George,  while  the  hills  of  the 
latter  are  frequently  visible  from  St  Paul. 

^^  The  claim  of  Pribylof  to  their  first  European  discovery  was  thrown  into 
doubt  by  the  report  that  the  Russians  on  reaching  the  island  of  St  Paul 
found  the  brass  hilt  and  trimming  of  a  sword,  a  clay  pipe,  and  the  remains  of 
a  fire.  The  statement  was  confirmed  by  all  who  effected  the  first  landing  on 
St  Paul.  Veniaminof,  Zapiski,  ii.  268.  Berg,  who  has  traced  the  course  of 
nearly  every  other  vessel  in  these  waters,  states  that  nothing  was  known  of 
Pribylof's  present  voyage  beyond  his  return  with  a  rich  cargo.  Khronol,  1st., 
104.  One  reason  for  this  was  the  secrecy  observed  for  some  time.  La  P^rouse 
met  Pribylof  shortly  after  his  return,  but  learned  nothing. 





Russian  Supbemacy  in  the  Farthest  North-west — The  Other  European 
Powers  would  Know  what  it  Means — Perez  Looks  at  Alaska  for 
Spain— The  'Santiago'  at  Dixon  Entrance— Cuadra  Advances  to 
Cross  Sound — Cook  for  England  Examines  the  Coast  as  far  as  Icy 
•Cape — Names  Given  to  Prince  William  Sound  and  Cook  Inlet — 
Revelations  and  Mistakes  —  Ledyard's  Journey — Again  Spain 
Sends  to  the  North  Arteaga,  who  Takes  Possession  at  Latitude 
59°  8'— Bay  of  La  Santisima  Cruz— Results  Attained. 

The  gradual  establishment  of  Russian  supremacy 
in  north-westernmost  America  upon  a  permanent  basis 
had  not  escaped  the  attention  of  Spanish  statesmen. 
Within  a  few  years  after  the  disastrous  failure  of  the 
Russian  exploring  expeditions  under  Krenitzin  and 
Levashef,  a  succinct  account  of  all  that  had  been  ac- 
complished by  the  joint  efforts  of  the  promyshleniki 
and  the  naval  officers,  under  the  auspices  of  the 
imperial  government,  had  been  transmitted  to  the 
court  of  Spain  by  its  accredited  and  secret  agents  at 
St  Petersburg.^ 

Alarmed  by  tidings  of  numerous  and  important 
discoveries  along  the  extension  of  her  own  South  Sea 
coast  line,  Spain  ordered  an  expedition  for  exploring 

1  The  communications  concerning  Russia's  plans  of  conquest  in  Asia  and 
America,  forwarded  to  the  court  of  Spain  fi'om  St  Petersburg,  make  mention 
of  an  expedition  organized  in  1764.  Two  captains,  named  Cweliacow  and 
Ponobasew  in  the  document,  were  to  sail  from  Arkhangel  in  the  White  Sea, 
and  meet  Captain  Krenitzin,  Avho  was  to  sail  from  Kamchatka.  This  is  a 
somewhat  mixed  account  of  the  Krenitzin  and  Levashef  expedition,  which 
did  not  finally  sail  till  1768,  but  was  expected  to  fall  in  with  lieutenants 
Chichagof  and  Ponomaref ,  who  were  instrficted  to  coast  eastward  along  Siberia 
and  to  pass  through  Bering  Strait. 

(194  J 


and  seizing  the  coast  to  the  northward  of  California. 
In  1773  accordingly  the  viceroy  of  Mexico,  Revilla 
Gigedo,  assigned  for  this  purpose  the  new  transport 
Santiago,  commanded  by  Juan  Perez,  who  was  asked 
to  prepare  a  plan  of  operations.  In  this  he  expressed 
his  intention  to  reach  the  Northwest  Coast  in  latitude 
45°  or  50°;  but  his  orders  to  attain  a  higher  latitude 
were  peremptory,  and  it  is  solely  owing  to  this  that  the 
voyage  falls  within  the  scope  of  the  present  volume. 
Minute  directions  were  furnished  for  the  ceremonies 
of  claiming  and  taking  possession.  The  wording  of 
the  written  declaration,  to  be  deposited  in  convenient 
and  prominent  places,  was  prescribed.  The  commander 
was  instructed  to  keep  the  object  of  his  voyage  secret, 
but  to  strike  the  coast  w^ell  to  north,  in  latitude  60° 
if  possible,  and  to  take  possession  above  any  settle- 
ments he  might  find,  without,  however,  disturbing 
the  Russians.  Appended  to  his  instructions  was  a 
full  translation  of  Stsehlin's  Account  of  the  Neiv 
Northern  Archipelago,  together  with  the  fanciful  map 
accompanying  that  volume.  Each  island  of  the  Aleu- 
tian group  w^as  described  in  detail,  besides  many 
others,  the  product  of  the  fertile  imagination  of  such 
men  as  Stsehlin  and  De  I'lsle  de  la  Croyere.  Even 
the  island  of  Kadiak,  which  had  then  only  been  twice 
visited  by  promyshleniki,  was  included  in  the  list. 

The  Santiago  sailed  from  San  Bias  January  24, 
1774,  with  eighty-eight  men,  including  two  mission- 
aries and  a  surgeon.  The  incidents  of  nearly  the 
whole  of  this  voyage  occurred  south  of  the  territory 
embraced  by  this  volume;  but  between  the  15th  and 
17th  of  July  Perez  and  his  companions  sighted  two 
capes,  the  southernmost  of  which  he  thought  was  in 
latitude  55°,  and  the  other  about  eight  leagues  to  the 
north.  These  points  were  named  Santa  Margarita 
and  Santa  Magdalena,  respectively.^ 

^  The  latitiide  given  by  Perez,  if  correct,  would  make  it  difficult  to  locate 
these  capes  so  as  to  agree  with  the  minute  and  circumstantial  description  of 
the  contours  of  the  coast;  but  allowing  for  an  error  which  might  easily  arise 


These  capes,  the  southernmost  point  of  Prince  of 
Wales  Island,  and  the  north  point  of  Queen  Charlotte 
Island,  lie  on  both  sides  of  the  present  boundary  of 
Alaska,  but  Perez  and  his  men  had  intercourse  with 
the  inhabitants  of  the  latter  cape  only.  The  mere 
sighting  of  one  of  the  southern  capes  of  Alaska,  and 
its  location  by  rough  estimate,  would  scarcely  justify 
a  discussion  of  the  voyage  of  Juan  Perez  in  the  annals 
of  Alaska,  were  it  not  for  an  apparently  trifling  incident 
•  mentioned  in  the  various  diarios  of  this  expedition.  In 
the  hands  of  the  natives  were  seen  an  old  bayonet  and 
pieces  of  other  iron  implements,  which  the  pilot  con- 
jectured must  have  belonged  to  the  boats'  crews  lost 
from  Chirikof's  vessel  somewhere  in  these  latitudes  in 
1741.^  In  the  absence  of  all  knowledge  of  any  civ- 
ilized visitor  to  that  section  during  the  interval  be- 
tween Chirikof  s  and  Perez'  voyages  we  cannot  well 
criticise  the  conclusion  arrived  at.  It  could  scarcely 
be  presumed  that  at  that  early  date  a  Pussian  bayo- 
net should  have  passed  from  hand  to  hand  or  from. 
tribe  to  tribe,  around  the  coast  from  the  Aleutian 
Islands,  or  perhaps  Kadiak,  a  distance  of  from  eight 
hundred  to  one  thousand  miles.  It  appears  highly 
probable  that  Chirikof's  mishap  occurred  in  this  vicin- 
ity, the*Prince  of  Wales  or  Queen  Charlotte  Islands, 
and  in  that  case  the  present  boundary  of  Alaska 
would  be  very  nearly  identical  with  the  northern 
limit  of  the  territorial  claims  of  Spain  as  based  upon 
the  right  of  discovery.  The  avowed  objects  of  this 
voyage  had  not  been  obtained  by  Perez;  he  did  not 
ascend  to  the  latitude  of  60°;  he  did  not  ascertain  the 
existence  of  permanent  Russian  establishments,  and 
he  made  no  discoveries  of  available  sea-ports.  His 
intercourse  with  the  Alaskan  natives,  if  such  they 

from  the  imperfect  instruments  of  the  times,  we  must  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  Perez  discovered  Dixon  Sound.  The  allusion  to  an  island  situated  to 
the  west  of  the  northernmost  cape,  the  Santa  Chi'istina  or  Catalina  of  the  re- 
corders of  the  voyage,  can  scarcely  refer  to  any  point  but  the  Forrester  Island 
of  our  modem  maps. 

3  Maurelle,  Compendio  de  Noticias,  MS.,  169. 


were,  was  carried  on  without  anchoring.  The  details 
of  the  expedition  of  Perez,  so  far  as  they  relate  to 
incidents  that  occurred  south  of  the  line  of  54°  40', 
are  discussed  in  my  History  of  the  Northwest  Coast} 

The  second  Spanish  expedition  which  extended  its 
operations  to  Alaskan  waters  was  organized  in  the 
following  year,  1775.  The  command  was  intrusted 
to  Bruno  Heceta,  a  lieutenant  and  acting  captain, 
who  selected  the  Santiago  as  his  flag-ship.  Juan* 
Perez  sailed  with  Heceta  as  pilot  and  second  in  com- 
mand. The  small  schooner  Sono7'a,  or  Felicidad, 
accompanied  the  larger  craft  as  consort,  commanded 
by  Lieutenant  Juan  Francisco  de  Bodega  y  Cuadra, 
with  Antonio  Maurelle  as  pilot.  ^ 

The  expedition  sailed  from  San  Bias  March  16th. 
After  going  far  out  to  sea  and  returning  to  the  coast 
again  in  latitude  48°  on  the  14th  of  July,  taking  pos- 
session of  the  country,  and  after  a  disastrous  encounter 
with  the  savages  of  that  region,  the  two  vessels  be- 
came separated  during  a  northerly  gale  on  the  30th 
of  July.« 

The  Sonara  alone  made  discoveries  within  the  pres- 
ent boundaries  of  Alaska.  After  the  separation  the 
little  craft,  only  36  feet  in  length,  was  boldly  headed 

*  Not  less  than  four  journals  or  diaries  of  the  voyage  are  extant.  Two  of 
these  were  kept  by  the  missionaries  or  chaplains  of  the  expedition,  Crespf 
and  Pena;  the  first  has  been  printed  in  Palou,  Noticias,  i.  61^4-88,  and  the 
other  was  copied  from  the  manuscript  Viages  al  Norte  de  California,  etc. ,  in 
the  Spanish  Archives.  The  third  journal,  entitled  Perez,  Relacion  del  Viage, 
etc.,  1774,  is  contained  in  the  Mayer  manuscripts  and  also  in  Maurelle,  Com- 
pendio  de  Noticias,  MS.,  159-75.  The  fourth  journal  is  also  a  manuscript 
under  the  title,  Perez,  Tabla  Diaria,  etc. ,  contained  in  Maurelle,  Compendio, 
179-85.  Brief  mention  of  this  voyage  can  also  be  found  in  Navarrete,  Sutil  y 
Mex.,  Viage,  92-3;  Humboldt,  Essai  Pol,  331-2;  Mofras,  Explor.,  i.;  Navar- 
rete, Viages  Apdc.,  53-4;  Greenhow's  Mem.,  69;  Id.,  Or.  and  Cal.,  114^17; 
Twiss'  Hist.  Or.,  55-6;  Id.,  Or.  Question,  66-7;  Falcover's  Or.  Question,  19; 
Id.,  Discov.  3Iiss.,  62;  Bustamante,  in  Cavo,  Tres  Sighs,  iii.  119;  Palou, 
Vida,  160-2;  Forbes'  Hist.  Cal,  114-16;  Calvo,  Col  Trent.,  i.  338;  Nicolay's 
Oregon  Ter.,  30-2;  Findlay's  Directory,  i.  349-50;  Pou^sin,  Question  de  I'Ore- 
gon,  38-9;  MacGregor's  Prog.  Amer.,  i.  535;  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obosr.,  i. 
preface;  Baranof,  in  Sitha  Archives,  MS.,  i.  Nos.  5  and  6. 

5  See  Hist.  Northivest  Coast,  i.  158,  this  series. 

®  The  outward  and  homeward  voyage  of  the  Santiago  has  been  fully  re- 
lated in  Hist.  Northwest  Coast,  i.,  this  series. 



Cuadka's  Voyagk. 


seaward  and  kept  upon  a  general  north-westerly  course. 
On  the  13th  of  August  indications  of  land  were  ob- 
served, though  the  only  chart  in  their  possession,  that 
of  Bellin,  based  upon  Russian  discoveries  and  to  a 
great  extent  upon  imagination,  placed  them  at  a  dis- 
tance of  one  hundred  and  sixty  leagues  from  the  con- 
tinental coast.  Cuadra's  latitude,  by  observation,  on 
that  day  was  55°  40'.  During  the  next  two  days  the 
signs  of  land  became  stronger  and  more  frequent,  and 
the  navigators,  in  the  belief  that  they  were  approach- 
ing the  Tumannoi  or  Foggy'  Islands  of  Chirikof,  ob- 
served the  greatest  caution. 

At  last,  on  the  16th,  came  in.  view  a  mountainous 
coast  among  whose  many  peaks  was  one  they  called 
San  Jacinto,  and  the  prominent  cape  jutting  from  it 
the  Cabo  de  Engano.  Their  description  of  both  cape 
and  mountain  is  so  clear  as  to  leave  no  doubt  of  their 
identity  with  the  Mount  Edgecumbe  of  Cook  and  the 
cape  of  the  same  name.  That  the  original  nomencla- 
ture has  not  been  preserved  is  owing  to  Spain's  neglect 
in  not  publishing  the  achievements  of  her  explorers. 
On  the  following  day  the  goleta  put  to  sea  again, 
weathering  Cape  Engaiio  and  following  the  coast  in  a 
north-westerly  direction  until  another  wide  estuary  was 
discovered  and  named  the  bay  of  Guadalupe,  subse- 
quently known  as  Shelikof  Bay  or  Port  Mary.  Here 
Cuadra  anchored  for  the  day,  observing  the  wooded 
shores  rising  at  an  acute  angle  from  the  sea.  In  the 
morning  of  the  18th  two  canoes,  containing  two  men 
and  two  women,  emerged  from  the  head  of  the  bay, 
but  at  the  sight  of  the  vessel  they  hurriedly  landed 
and  fled.  The  explorers  then  put  to  sea  again  and 
proceeded  in  a  northerly  direction  until  a  good  anchor- 
age was  found  in  latitude  57°  20',  with  a  good  sandy 
beach  and  convenient  watering-places. 

A  landing  was  eflected  at  the  mouth  of  a  stream, 
near  a  deserted  hut  and  a  stockaded  enclosure,  proba- 
bly used  for  defence  by  the  natives.  The  instructions 
of  the  viceroy,  concerning  the  forms  of  taking  posses- 


sion,  were  carried  out  so  far  as  circumstances  would 

During  the  ceremonies  no  natives  were  in  sight, 
but  after  returning  to  their  vessel  the  Spaniards  saw 
the  savages  take  up  the  cross  which  they  had  planted 
and  place  it  before  their  hut,  as  if  to  say  "this  is  the 
better  place." 

On  the  19th  another  landing  was  made,  when  the 
natives  emerged  from  the  forest  waving  a  white  cloth 
attached  to  a  pole  in  token  of  peaceful  intentions.  The 
signal  was  answered  by  the  Spaniards  and  the  savages 
advanced  slowly  to  the  opposite  bank  of  the  stream. 
They  were  unarmed  and  accompanied  by  women  and 
children.  A  few  trifling  presents  were  offered  and 
received  by  one  of  the  natives  who  waded  into  the 
middle  of  the  stream.  This  friendly  intercourse  was, 
however,  suddenly  interrupted  when  the  Spaniards 
began  to  fill  their  water-casks.  The  women  and  chil- 
dren were  at  once  sent  away  and  the  men  assumed  a 
threatening  attitude.  The  Spaniards  prepared  for 
defence  while  preserving  an  unconcerned  air,  and 
finally  the  savages  retreated. 

The  place  of  this  first  landing  of  Spanish  explorers 
upon  Alaskan  soil  was  called  the  anchorage  ''de  los 
Remedies"  and  can  be  nothing  else  than  the  entrance 
to  Klokachef  Sound  between  Kruzof  and  Chichagof 

^  The  entry  in  the  journal  referring  to  this  event  was  as  follows:  'El  mismo 
dia  bajaron  &,  tierra  con  los  preparatives  que  ofrecia  su  poco  tripulacion  y  ar- 
reglados  d  la  instruccion  tomaron  posesion,  dejando  los  docuraentos  y  la  cruz 
colocados  con  la  seguridad  posible,  habiendo  arbolado  en  aquel  puesto  las  ban- 
deras  del  Key  nuestro  Sefior.'   Vlajes  al  Norte,  MS.,  25. 

^  lu  tlie  journal  of  this  voyage  contained  in  the  Viajes  al  Norte,  the  country 
is  described  as  full  of  mountains,  their  base  covered  with  pines  like  those  at 
Trinidad,  but  barren  or  covered  with  snow  toward  the  summit.  The  '  Yn- 
dios,'  said  to  resemble  those  met  with  in  latitude  41°,  wei'e  clothed  chiefly 
in  furs.  The  latitudes  as  observed  by  Cuadra  at  Cape  Eugaiio,  Guadalupe 
Bay,  and  the  Entrada  de  los  Kemedios,  agrees  with  our  positions  for  Cape 
Edgecumbe,  Shelikof  Bay,  and  the  southern  shore  of  Klokachef  Sound,  but 
the  Spanish  explorer  places  the  longitude  of  the  last  anchorage  some  twelve 
miles  to  the  westward  of  Cabo  de  Phigauo.  This  would  lead  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  ceremony  of  taking  possession  took  place  just  inside  of  Seadion 
Point,  a  very  exposed  position,  while  the  description  of  the  country  coincides 
better  with  Kalinin  cove,  a  few  miles  to  the  eastward.  See  Karta  Vkhodov 
Novo  Arkhcuujdskomu.  PorUi,  etc.,  1809,  1833,  and  1848. 


The  weather  was  cold  and  threatening  during  the 
sojourn  of  the  Sonora  in  this  bay,  and  both  officers 
and  the  poorly  clothed  and  sheltered  crew  began  to 
suffer  from  scurvy.  They  took  a  west-north-westerly 
direction  on  the  21st,  in  order  to  ascertain  whether 
their  discovery  was  located  on  the  west  or  east  shore 
of  the  Pacific,  a  doubt  engendered  by  the  great  differ- 
ence in  longitude  between  the  Russian  discoveries  as 
indicated  on  Bellin's  chart  and  their  own;  and  having 
by  that  time  reached  a  latitude  of  57°  58',  or  the 
vicinity  of  Cross  Sound,  they  changed  their  course 
to  the  southward  to  examine  carefully  all  the  inlets 
of  the  coast. 

On  the  24th^of  August,  in  latitude  55°  14',  the  ex- 
plorers entered  a  magnificent  sound  extending  far  to 
the  northward  and  abounding  in  sheltered  anchorages. 
Cuadra  was  ill,  but  he  ordered  the  j9z7o^o  to  take  pos- 
session in  the  name  of  Spain,  and  for  the  second  time 
the  royal  banner  of  Castile  waved  over  Alaska.  The 
sound  was  called  Bucareli,  a  name  still  preserved  on 
many  maps.  It  is  located  on  the  west  coast  of  the 
island  subsequently  named  after  the  prince  of  Wales.^ 

After  a  careful  inspection  of  the  bay,  during  which 
not  an  aboriginal  was  to  be  seen,  the  Sonora  once 
more  stood  out  to  sea,  sighting  six  leagues  from  the 
harbor  an  island  which  was  named  San  Bias,  the 
same  seen  in  1774  by  Juan  Perez  from  Cape  Santa 
Margarita,  and  named  by  him  Santa  Cristina.  It  is 
now  known  as  Forrester  Island.  A  landing  was 
effected  and  water  obtained,  while  the  south  point  of 
Prince  of  Wales  Island,  named  Santa  Magdalena  by 
Perez,  was  plainly  in  view.^*^  Contrary  winds  kept 
the  little  craft  beating  about  until  the  navigators  suc- 
ceeded in  again  making  the  coast  in  latitude  55°  50', 

^  The  piloto  expressed  the  opinion  that  this  bay  was  the  scene  of  Chirikof 's 
*  landfall, '  and  the  place  where  his  boat's  crew  perished  was  one  of  the  northern 
arms  of  the  bay  in  the  latitude  named  by  the  Russian  discoverer.  The  Span- 
iard did  not  seem  to  take  longitude  into  the  account  at  all.  Viajes  al  Norte, 
MS.,  30. 

^o  Viajes  al  Norte,  MS.,  31.     Cuadra  named  it  Cabo  de  San  Agustin. 


where  a  deep  indentation  was  observed,  with  its  western 
point  in  latitude  56°  3'.  Thence  a  high  mountainous 
coast  was  seen  extending  north-westerly  to  a  point 
marking  the  southern  limit  of  the  broad  estuary 
bounded  by  Cabo  de  Engano  in  the  north." 

From  the  28th  of  August  to  the  1st  of  September 
the  winds  compelled  the  navigators  to  hug  the  shore 
in  the  vicinity  of  latitude  56°  30^  The  crew,  weak- 
ened by  scurvy,  were  unable  to  combat  the  adverse 
winds.  The  vessel  was  swept  by  tremendous  seas; 
spars  and  portions  of  the  rigging  were  carried  away; 
and  when  at  last  a  steady  strong  north-wester  began 
to  blow,  both  commander  and  pilots  concluded  that 
further  efforts  to  gain  the  desired  latitude  were  use- 
less. The  prow  of  the  Sonora  was  turned  southward 
and  the  swelling  sails  soon  carried  her  far  away  from 
Alaska.  ^^ 

Orders  for  another  Spanish  expedition  to  the  north 
coast  were  issued  in  1776,  but  preparations  were  not 
completed  till  1779,  or  until  after  Cook's  important 
English  explorations  in  this  quarter. 

The  voyage  of  Captain  Cook  with  the  ships  Reso- 
lution and  Jbiscovery  has  been  discussed  at  length  in 
an  earlier  volume,  with  reference  to  discoveries  on  the 
Northwest  Coast  south  of  the  present  boundary  of 
Alaska.  It  is  only  necessary  here  to  repeat  briefly  a  few 
paragraphs  from  Cook's  secret  instructions  from  the  ad- 
miralty and  to  take  up  the  thread  of  narrative  where 
I  dropped  it  in  the  historic  precincts  of  Nootka.^^ 

"  The  description  furnished  by  the  journal  of  these  discoveries  is  not  clear, 
but  the  ensenada  may  probably  be  identified  with  Christian  Sound,  or  Clarence 
Sound,  on  our  modern  maps. 

1^  The  log  of  the  Sonora  as  copied  in  the  Viajen  al  Norte  places  the  expedi- 
tion in  latitude  55°  4'  on  the  14th  of  August,  and  from  that  date  till  the  8th 
of  September  Cuadra's  operations  were  confined  to  present  Alaskan  waters. 
The  highest  latitude,  57°  57',  was  reached  the  22d,  in  the  vicinity  of  Cape 
Cross,  or  the  soutli  point  of  Yacobi  Island.  Vinjea  al  Norte,  MS.,  56-8.  Ac- 
cpunts  of  this  voyage  can  also  be  found  in  Ileceta,  Setjunda  Exploracion; 
Maiirelle,  Diaiio  del  Viaije  de  la  Sonora,  1775,  No.  3  of  Viages  ul  Norte; 
Maurtlle's  Journal  of  a  Voyage  in  1775,  London,  1781,  in  Barrmgton's  Miscel- 
lanies. See  also  lilM.  Northwest  Coast,  vol.  i.,  this  series.  Juan  Perez 
Cuadra's  pilot  died  before  reaching  San  Bias. 

''*  The  instructions  were  signed  by  the  '  Commissioners  for  executing  the 


After  ordering  the  commander  to  go  from  New 
Zealand  to  New  Albion  and  avoid  touching  Spanish 
territory,  the  document  goes  on  to  say:  "And  if,  in 
your  farther  progress  to  the  northward,  as  hereafter 
directed,  you  find  any  subjects  of  any  European  prince 
or  state  upon  any  part  of  the  coast  you  may  think 
proper  to  visit,  you  are  not  to  disturb  them,  or  to  give 
them  any  just  cause  of  offence,  but  on  the  contrary  to 
treat  them  with  civility  and  friendship.  Upon  your 
arrival  on  the  coast  of  New  Albion  you  are  to  put 
into  the  first  convenient  port  to  recruit  your  wood 
and  water,  and  procure  refreshments,  and  then  to 
proceed  northward  along  the  coast,  as  far  as  the  lati- 
tude of  65,°  or  farther,  if  you  are  not  obstructed  by 
lands  or  ice;  taking  care  not  to  lose  any  time  in 
exploring  rivers  or  inlets,  or  upon  any  other  account, 
until  you  get  into  the  before-mentioned  latitude  of 
65°."  After  being  enjoined  at  length  to  make  a 
thorough  search  for  a  navigable  passage  into  Hudson 
or  Baffin  bays,  Cook  is  further  instructed  as  follows : 
"  You  are  also,  with  the  consent  of  the  natives,  to 
take  possession,  in  the  name  of  the  King  of  Great 
Britain,  of  convenient  situations  in  such  countries  as 
you  may  discover,  that  have  not  already  been  discov- 
ered or  visited  by  any  other  European  power.  .  .but 
if  you  find  the  countries  so  discovered  are  uninhabited, 
you  are  to  take  possession  of  them  for  his  Majesty,  by 
setting  up  proper  marks  and  inscriptions,  as  first  dis- 
coverers and  possessors."  During  the  discussion  of 
Cook's  progress  in  viewing  the  coasts  of  Alaska  I 
shall  have  occasion  to  refer  to  these  instructions.^* 

On  the  26th  of  April  1778  the  expedition  sailed 
out  of  Nootka  Bay  on  its  northward  course,  but  vio- 
lent gales  drove  it  from  the  land  which  was  not  made 
again  until  the  evening  of  May  1st  in  latitude  55° 

Office  of  Lord  High  Admiral  of  Great  Britian  and  Ireland,  etc.,  Sandwich, 
C.  Spencer,  and  H.  Palliser,  through  their  secretary,  Ph.  Stephens,  on  the  6th 
of  July  1776.'  Cook's  Voy.,  i.  introd.  xxxiv.-xxxv. 
^^  Cook's  Voy.,  i.  introd.  xxxii.-xxxv. 


20',  in  tlie  vicinity  of  Port  Bucareli,  discovered  by 
Cuadra  three  years  before. 

On  the  2d  and  3d  of  May  Cook  passed  along  the 
coast  included  in  Cuadra's  discoveries  of  1775,  giving 
to  Mount  San  Jacinto  and  the  Cabo  de  Engafio  the 
name  of  Edgecumbe.  Puerto  de  los  Pemedios  was 
named  bay  of  Islands,  and  Cook  correctly  surmised 
its  connection  with  the  bay  lying  eastward  of  Cape 
Edgecumbe.  In  the  morning  of  the  3d  the  two  sloops 
had  reached  the  highest  latitude  attained  by  Cuadra; 
a  high  mountain  in  the  north  and  a  wide  inlet  were 
called  Mount  Fairweather  and  Cross  Sound  respec- 
tively, by  which  names  both  are  known  to  this  day.^^ 
Cape  Fairweather  has  since  been  named  Cape  Spencer, 
On  the  5th  Mount  St  Elias  was  sighted  above  the 
northern  horizon,  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles  away, 
and  the  following  day  the  broad  opening  of  Yakutat, 
or  Bering,  Bay  was  observed.^® 

Proceeding  slowly  along  the  coast  with  baffling 
winds,  he  on  the  10th  gave  the  name  of  Cape  Suck- 
ling to  the  cape  forming  the  southern  extremity  of 
Comptroller  Bay,  but  owing  to  'thick'  weather  Kyak 
Island,  named  Kaye  by  Cook,  was  not  discovered  until 
two  days  later.  ^~  At  the  foot  of  a  tree  on  the  south 
point  of  Kaye  Island  a  bottle  was  deposited  containing 
a  paj^er  with  the  names  of  the  ships  and  date  of  'dis- 
covery,' and  a  few  coins.  For  some  reason  the  cere- 
mony of  taking  possession  was  omitted,  though  Cook 
must  have  believed  in  the  existence  of  all  the  condi- 
tions mentioned  in  his  instructions  and  relating  to 
'  uninhabited '  discoveries.^^ 

The  name  of  Comptroller  Bay  was  also  applied  to 
the  indentation  bearing  that  designation  to-day.    The 

'^The3cl  of  May  is  marked  in  the  calendars  as  'Finding  of  the  Cross;' 
hence  the  name  applied  to  the  sound. 

^^  Cook  discusses  at  length  the  identity  of  this  with  Bering's  landing.  He 
does  not,  however,  advance  any  very  cogent  reasons  for  his  belief. 

^'  In  another  chapter  of  this  volume  I  have  stated  my  reasons  for  believing 
this  to  have  been  the  scene  of  Bering's  discovery  and  Steller's  brief  explora- 
tion of  the  country  in  1741. 

^^Cook'd  Voi/.,u.  351-3. 


sight  of  the  south  point  of  Nuchek  Island,  named  by 
him  Cape  Hinehinbrook,  led  Cook  to  indulge  in  hopes 
of  finding  a  jDassage  to  the  north  beyond  it,  the  tower- 
ing heights  that  border  Prince  William  Sound  not 
being  visible  at  the  time.  A  leak  in  the  Resolution 
induced  the  commander  to  seek  shelter,  and  the  ships 
were  anchored  in  one  of  the  coves  of  Nuchek  Bay, 
the  Port  Etches  of  later  maps.  A  boat's  crew  sent 
out  to  hunt  met  with  a  number  of  natives  in  two  skin 
canoes,  who  followed  them  to  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  the  ships,  but  would  not  go  on  board. ^^  On  the 
following  day,  the  13th,  Cook  sailed  again  in  search 
of  a  safer  anchorage,  without  discovering  the  land- 
locked cove  on  the  north  side  of  the  bay  subsequently 
selected  by  the  Russians  for  their  first  permanent 
establishment  in  this  region.  The  next  anchorage 
was  found  some  eight  leagues  to  the  northward  at 
Snug  Corner  Cove,  still  known  by  that  name.  Here 
considerable  intercourse  with  the  natives  took  place. 
They  were  bold,  inclined  to  thievery,  and  apparently 
unacquainted  with  fire-arms. '^° 

After  several  vain  attempts  to  find  a  northern  pas- 
sage the  two  ships  turned  southward,  and  the  largest 
island  in  the  sound  was  discovered  and  named  Mon- 

^^  The  natives  made  the  same  sign  of  friendship  described  by  the  Spanish 
explorers  in  connection  with  the  Alexander  Archipelago,  displaying  a  white 
garment  or  skin,  and  extending  their  arms.  The  people  were  evidently  of 
Innuit  extraction,  but  had  adopted  some  of  the  practices  of  their  Thlinkeet 
neighbors  in  the  east,  such  as  powdering  the  hair  with  down,  etc.  Comp- 
troller Bay,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Atnah  or  Copper  River,  so  called  by  Cook 
in  his  Atlas,  1778,  and  also  by  Dixon  and  Vancouver;  La  P(5rouse,  1786, 
i?e  du  Controle;  Sutil  y  Mex.,  Viage,  B.  Controlleur.  Cartog.  Pac.  Coast, 
MS.,  iii.  394. 

^^  These  natives  not  only  attempted  to  take  away  a  boat  from  the  ship's 
side,  but  upon  the  report  of  one  of  their  number,  who  had  examined  the 
Discovery,  that  only  a  man  or  two  were  visible  on  her  decks,  the  whole  band 
of  visitors  hastily  paddled  over  to  the  other  vessel  with  the  evident  intention 
of  taking  possession  of  her.  The  appearance  of  the  crew,  who  had  been  en- 
gaged on  some  duty  in  the  hold,  caused  the  savages  to  change  their  mind. 
Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  359.  Cook  here  also  noticed  for  the  first  time  that  these 
natives  had  a  few  glass  beads  of  light  blue,  a  circumstance  he  wrongly  cou- 
sidei'ed  as  an  indication  of  intercourse  with  other  tribes  visiting  the  Hudson's 
Bay  Company's  posts  in  the  far  north-west.  Blue  glass  beads  were  among  the 
few  articles  of  trade  in  the  hands  of  the  Russian  promyshleniki,  and  doubtless 
found  their  way  to  Prince  William  Sound  from  Kadiak  by  way  of  Cook 


tagu,  the  Sukluk  of  the  natives.  The  name  of  Prince 
Wihiam  Sound  was  then  appHed  to  the  whole  inlet. 

On  the  21s't  Cape  Elizabeth,  the  south-eastern  point 
of  Cook  Inlet,  was  first  sighted  and  named;  and  as 
the  western  shore  of  that  great  estuary  was  not  vis- 
ible, the  hopes  of  finding  an  open  passage  to  the 
northward  were  once  more  revived.  A  gale,  how- 
ever, prevented  the  explorers  from  rounding  the  cape, 
and  necessitated  a  southerly  course,  which  brought 
into  view  the  point  of  land  named  Cape  St  Hermo- 
genes  by  Bering — the  eastern  cape  of  Marmot  Island. 
Thence  the  course  was  northward,  which  opened  be- 
fore the  eyes  of  the  explorer  the  broad  estuary  still 
bearing  the  name  of  the  commander.  Believing  that 
Kadiak  and  Afognak  islands,  with  Point  Banks,  formed 
but  a  part  of  the  mountainous  coast  to  the  westward, 
with  Cape  Douglas  in  the  foreground,  Cook  entered 
the  inlet  full  of  hope.  Was  not  the  Aliaska  of  Bus- 
sian  maps  represented  as  an  island  ?  And  must  not 
this  wide  passage  lead  the  navigator  into  the  Arctic 
Ocean  between  this  island  and  the  continent  ?  The 
discovery  of  an  extension  of  the  high  mountains  to 
the  north  of  Cape  Douglas  did  not  discourage  him.-^ 
On  the  same  day,  however,  the  27th  of  May,  these 
high  hopes  were  crushed,  as  far  as  Cook  himself  was 
concerned.  The  haze  hanging  over  the  land  in  the 
west  suddenly  disappeared,  and  what  had  been  taken 
for  a  chain  of  islands  stood  revealed  as  the  summits 
of  a  mountain  range,  connected  everywhere  and  show- 
ing every  characteristic  of  a  continent.. 

Though  fully  convinced  of  the  futility  of  the  attempt 
Cook  continued  to  beat  his  vessels  up  the  inlet.^"^ 
The  strong  ebb-tides,  running  at  a  velocity  of  four 
or  five  knots,  greatly  retarded  their  progress,  and  as 

^1  '  As  it  was  supposed  to  be  wholly  unconnected  with  the  land  of  Cape 
Elizabeth,'  says  Cook;  'for,  in  a  N.  N.  E.  direction,  the  sight  was  unlimited 
by  everything  but  the  horizon.'  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  386 j  Juvenal,  Jour.,  MS., 

^*  '  I  was  now  fully  persuaded  that  I  should  find  no  passage  by  this  inlet ; 
and  my  persevering  in  the  search  of  it  here,  was  more  to  satisfy  other  people, 
than  to  confirm  my  own  opinion. '  Cook's  Voy. ,  ii.  386. 

AT  COOK  INLET.  207 

the  winds  were  either  Hght  or  unfavorable,  it  became 
necessary  to  anchor  the  vessels  every  time  the  tide 
turned  against  them.  The  muddy  water  and  the  large 
quantities  of  floating  trees  led  Cook  to  believe  him- 
self within  the  mouth  of  a  large  river,  and  without 
fully  ascertaining  the  fact,  he  sailed  away  from  his 
new  discovery  unchanged  in  his  opinion.'^ 

The  iirst  natives  were  encountered  on  the  30th,  and 
a  larger  party,  including  women  and  children,  visited 
the  ships  the  following  day.  The  scene  of  this  meeting 
was  in  the  vicinity  of  West  Foreland,  or  the  present 
village  of  Kustatan.  These  savages  were  described  by 
Cook  as  resembling  the  natives  of  Prince  William 
Sound,  speaking  the  same  language  and  using  the 
same  kind  of  skin-covered  canoes.  From  this  fact 
we  must  infer  that  the  Innuit  in  those  days  occu- 
pied more  of  the  coast  of  Cook  Inlet  than  they  do 
to-day.  It  is  probable,  however,  that  these  people 
were  not  permanent  residents,  but  engaged  in  a  hunt- 
ing expedition  away  from  their  home.^*  Blue  beads 
and  long  iron  knives  were  found  in  the  possession  of 
all  these  peoples.  We  know  that  these  articles  came 
from  the  Russians,  but  Cook  was  loath  to  acknowl- 
edge the  presence  of  another  European  power.^^ 

On  the  first  of  June  the  boats  sent  out  to  explore 
returned  after  having  entered  the  Turn-again  arm  of 
the  inlet  and  the  mouth  of  the  Kinik  River,  and  in 

'^  The  coast  of  Cook  Inlet  rests  upon  a  base  of  blue  clay  wasbed  by  the 
tides,  and  this  fact  contributed  more  to  the  discoloration  of  the  water  than  the 
few  rivers  emptying  into  the  inlet. 

'^'  Still  higher  up  the  inlet  Cook  saw  a  native  jiropel  liis  kyak  with  a  double- 
bladed  paddle,  and  as  this  implement  is  used  onty  by  the  natives  of  the  Aleu- 
tian Islands,  and  occasionally  by  those  of  the  northern  shores  of  Bering  Sea, 
it  becomes  all  the  more  probable  that  the  advance  of  the  Russians  to  Kadiak, 
and  their  presence  among  the  Shumagin  Islands,  had  already  instigated  the 
sea-otter  hunters  to  undertake  long  journeys  in  search  of  their  quany. 
CooL-'s  Voy. ,  ii.  389-92.  On  the  other  hand,  the  natives  encountered  on  the 
Kenai  Peninsula,  on  the  occasion  of  taking  possession  of  the  country,  were 
evidently  Tinuehs,  or  Kenai  proper,  to  judge  from  the  description  of  their 
ornaments,  clothes,  and  weapons,  and  from  the  fact  that  they  had  dogs  and 
were  apparently  without  canoes. 

'^^Cook  mentions  that  the  natives  called  iron  goone.  Now  chugun,  or 
rather  chugoon,  is  Russian  for  cast-iron,  though  also  used  for  all  iron  articles 
by  the  ignorant  classes.  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  392. 


the  afternoon  Lieutenant  King  was  despatched  to 
take  possession  of  the  point  at  which  the  above- 
mentioned  arm  branches  off  to  the  eastward.  Some 
lords  aboriginal  were  present,  but  it  is  nowhere  written 
that  King  asked  their  permission  to  take  possession 
of  the  country,  as  the  admiralty  had  ordered. 

On  the  4th  of  June  the  latitude  of  the  Iliamna 
volcano  was  ascertained,  but  the  mountain  was  not 
named. ^*^  On  the  5th  of  June  the  two  ships  emerged 
from  the  inlet  that  had  been  entered  with  such  flatter- 
ing hopes,  and  proceeded  southward  along  the  coast 
of  the  continent  in  search  of  an  opening  to  the  west- 
ward and  northward.  The  season  was  fast  advancing 
and  much  remained  to  be  done,  so  they  hastened 
forward.  Shuiak  Island,  Afognak,  and  Kadiak  were 
placed  on  their  chart  as  one  continuous  coast  and  part 
of  the  continent,  while  names  were  given  only  to  the 
prominent  headlands.^''  On  the  16th  Foggy  Island, 
the  Tumannoi  of  Bering,  was  made,  and  on  the  19th 
the  two  ships  were  passing  through  the  Shumagin 
group,  the  largest  island  of  which  Cook  erroneously 
put  down  as  Kadiak  on  his  chart.  In  this  vicinity 
the  Discovery  was  approached  by  several  canoes  and 
a  letter  enclosed  in  a  case  was  delivered  by  one  of 
the  natives,  who  bowed  and  took  off  his  cap  in  good 
European  fashion.  The  document  was  written  in 
Russian  and  dated  1778.^^^      Unable  to  understand 

^^  The  only  local  names  about  the  inlet  which  we  can  trace  to  Cook  are: 
Cape  Douglas,  Mt  St  Augustine  (Chernobira  Island),  Turn-again  River,  Point 
Possession,  Anchor  Point,  Point  Bede,  Cape  Elizabeth,  Barren  Islands.  The 
inlet  was  named  Cook  River  by  order  of  Lord  Sandwich,  the  explorer  having 
left  a  blank  in  his  journal.  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  396. 

-'  The  north  point  of  Shuiak  was  named  Point  Banks;  the  easterly  point 
of  Afognak,  Cape  Whitsunday,  and  the  entrance  to  the  strait  between  the 
latter  island  and  Kadiak,  Whitsuntide  Bay.  The  description  of  this  locality 
does  not,  however,  agree  with  the  published  sketch.  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  404,  and 
Cha7-t  of  Cook  River,  353.  Cape  Chiniatsk  was  named  Cape  Greville  and  is 
still  thus  indicated  on  English  and  American  sailing-charts.  Cape  Barnabas 
aiKl  Two-headed  Cape  coiTCspond  with  the  east  point  of  Sitkhalidak  Island 
and  Nazigak  Island  at  the  entrance  of  Kaguiak  Bay.  The  island  Sitkhinak 
was  named  Trinity  on  the  14th  of  June,  and  subsequently  the  south  point  of 
Kadiak  obtained  the  same  designation.   Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  407-9. 

'^^In  the  body  of  the  note  there  was  also  a  reference  to  the  year  1776,  the 
date  of  a  Russian  expedition  to  Kadiak.   Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  414. 


its  contents,  Cook  paid  no  attention  to  it.  These 
natives  as  well  as  those  subsequently  met  with  at 
Halibut  (Sannakh)  Island  used  the  double-bladed 
paddle,  a  certain  indication  that  they  were  Aleuts, 
hunting  for  the  Russians.^'' 

Passing  Unimak  with  its  smoking  volcanoes  and 
failing  to  notice  the  best  pass  into  Bering  Sea,  be- 
tween Unimak  and  Akun,  the  explorers  at  last  man- 
aged to  cross  into  the  narrowest  and  most  dangerous 
of  all  these  passes,  between  Unalga  and  Unalaska. 
After  a  long  search  for  an  anchorage  the  vessels  were 
safely  moored  in  Samghanooda  Bay,  opening  into 
Unalga  Strait.  Intercourse  with  the  natives  was  at 
once  opened,  and  one  of  them  delivered  another  Rus- 
sian note.  The  principal  object  in  seeking  this  anch- 
orage was  water,  and  hence  the  stay  there  was  brief; 
but  from  the  manners  of  the  people  and  articles  in 
their  possession.  Cook  felt  assured  at  last  that  he  was 
on  ground  occupied  by  the  Bussians.  The  necessar}^ 
business  was  quickly  despatched,  and  on  the  2d  of 
July  the  two  ships  stood  out  to  sea  again  with  every 
prospect  of  an  open  field  of  exploration  in  the  north. 
The  north  coast  of  the  Alaska  peninsula  was  followed 
till  the  north  shore  of  Bristol  Bay  loomed  before 
them,  and  made  another  change  of  course  necessary. 
Cook's  disappointment  was  great.  Not  until  the  16tli 
of  July  was  hope  again  revived  by  the  sight  of  Cape 
Newenham,  the  southern  point  of  the  estuary  of  the 

Without  imagining  himself  in  the  mouth  of  a  river, 
Cook  pushed  forward  until  stopped  by  shoals,  which 
to  his  dismay  extended  in  every  direction  but  that 
from  which  he  had  come.     After  a  brief  interview 

^'  Cook  also  mentions  that  they  did  not  understand  the  language  of  the 
natives  of  Prince  William  Sound,  and  that  one  of  them  wore  a  black  cloth 
jacket  and  green  breeches.  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  417. 

'"  Here  Lieutenant  Williamson  was  sent  ashore  to  ascend  a  mountain  and 
obtain  a  view.  He  saw  no  land,  except  in  the  north,  and  after  taking  formal 
possession  returned  to  the  ship.  Cook  gave  the  name  Bristol  Bay  to  the 
whole  bend  of  the  coast  betwen  Unimak  Island  and  the  cape  just  discovered. 
Voy.,  ii.  430-4. 

HiBT.  Alaska.    14 


with  some  natives,  who  also  were  found  in  posses- 
sion of  iron  knives,  all  haste  was  made  to  extricate  the 
vessel  from  the  network  of  shoals.  At  last,  on  the 
28th,  the  soundings  made  a  westerly  course  possible, 
which  was  on  the  following  day  changed  to  the  north- 
ward, and  on  the  3d  of  August  land  was  made  again, 
and  the  ships  anchored  between  an  island  and  the 
main.  The  former  was  named  Sledge  Island,  from  a 
wooden  sledge  with  bone  runners  found  upon  it.  The 
next  discovery,  named  King  Island,  was  made  on  the 
7th,  and  at  last,  on  the  9th,  the  western  extremity 
of  the  American  continent  lay  clearly  before  them, 
the  coast  beyond  receding  so  far  to  the  eastward  as 
to  leave  no  room  for  doubt.^^ 

After  a  brisk  run  across  to  the  coast  of  Asia  the 
ships  returned  to  the  Alaskan  shore  and  located  Icy 
Cape,  the  eastern  limit  of  the  arctic  cruise.  Cape  Mul- 
grave,  and  Cape  Lisburne,  but  ice  barred  further  prog- 
ress on  the  American  coast  as  well  as  on  that  of 
Asia.  On  the  29th  Cook  named  Cape  North  and 
concluded  to  return  southward,  postponing  a  further 
examination  of  the  Polar  Sea  for  another  season — 
which  never  came  for  him.  On  the  evening  of  the  2d 
of  September  the  ships  passed  East  Cape.  The  fol- 
lowing day  St  Lawrence  Bay  was  revisited  and  ex- 
amined,^' and  on  the  5th  the  ships  were  again  headed 
for  the  American  coast.  During  the  following  day 
Norton  Sound  was  entered  and  names  were  applied 
to  Cape  Derby,  at  the  entrance  of  Goloni  Bay,  and 
Cape  Denbigh. 

Cook  remained  in  this  sound  until  the  17th  of  Sep- 
tember in  order  to  fully  ascertain  the  fact  of  his  being 
then  on  the  coast  of  the  American  continent  and 
not  on  the  fabulous  island  of  "  Alaschka"  represented 

'"^^Cook^s  Voy.,  ii.  444. 

3^  The  editor  of  Cook's  Voyage,  in  vol.  ii.  473,  comments  upon  the  curious 
coincidence  that  Bering  passed  between  St  Lawrence  Bay  and  St  Lawrence 
Island  on  Auguft  10,  1728,  and  50  years  later,  on  August  10,  1778,  Cook 
passed  the  same  spot,  naming  the  bay  after  the  patron  saint  of  that  day  in  the 
calendar.  Due  allowance  for  the  dillercnce  between  dates  in  the  Julian  and 
Gregorian  calendars,  however,  spoils  this  nice  little  '  coincidence. ' 


upon  Stseliliii's  map  of  the  Neiv  Northern  Archipelago. 
Captain  King  had  been  intrusted  with  the  examina- 
tion of  Norton  Bay,  the  only  point  where  the  existence 
of  a  channel  was  at  all  probable. ^^ 

On  leaving  Norton  Sound  it  was  Cook's  intention 
to  steer  directly  south  in  order  to  survey  the  coast  inter- 
vening between  his  last  discovery  and  the  point  he  had 
named  Shoalness  on  the  Kuskokvim;  but  the  shallow- 
ness of  that  part  of  Bering  Sea  compelled  him  to  run 
far  to  the  westward,  and  prevented  him  from  seeing 
anything  of  the  Yukon  mouth,  and  the  low  country 
between  that  river  and  the  Kuskokvim,  and  the  island 
of  Nvmivak.^^  After  obtaining  another  sight  of  St 
Lawrence  Island,  which  he  named  Clark,  Cook  steered 
south-south-west  and  on  the  23d  sighted  St  Matthew 
Island,  which  he  named  Gore.^^ 

On  the  2d  of  October  Unalaska  was  sighted,  and 
passing  Kalekhtah  Bay,  called  Egoochshac  by  Cook, 
the  two  ships  anchored  in  Samghanooda  Bay  on  the 
3d  of  October.  Both  vessels  were  at  once  overhauled 
by  the  carpenters  for  necessary  repairs,  and  a  portion 
of  the  cargo  was  landed  for  the  purpose  of  restowing.^^ 

^'■^Cooh's  Voy.,  ii.  482-3.  I  find  that  Captain  Cook  makes  mention  of  the 
fact  that  one  of  the  natives  inquired  for  him  by  the  title  of  'capitane,'  which 
he  considers  a  case  of  misunderstanding.  It  is,  however,  not  at  all  improbable 
that  the  Russian  word  kapitan  had  been  preserved  among  the  natives  of  the 
vicinity  of  Bering  Strait  since  Bering's  and  Gvozdef 's  time.        » 

''^Cook  supposed,  however,  the  existence  of  a  large  river  in  that  vicinity, 
as  the  water  was  comparatively  fresh  and  very  muddy.   Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  491. 

'^^ Cook  claims  to  have  seen  sea-otters  here,  but  was  piobably  mistaken, 
for  this  animal  was  never  found  there  by  subsequent  visitois,  and  the  place 
being  uninhabited,  theie  was  nothmg  to  drive  them  away.  The  Pribylof  group 
were  the  northernmost  point  from  which  sea-otters  were  ever  procured,  and 
there  they  became  quickly  exterminated. 

^''  During  a  visit  of  Mr  Ivan  Petrof  to  Samghanooda  Bay  on  the  3d  of 
October  1S78,  the  100th  anniversary  of  Cook's  landing,  he  obtained  from  the 
natives  a  few  traditions  relative  to  Cook's  visit.  One  old  chief  stated  that 
his  father  had  told  him  of  two  English  ships  that  had  anchoi-ed  in  Samgha- 
nooda, M'hich  is  now  known  as  'English  Bukhta.'  The  time  of  their  stay  had 
been  somewhat  lengthened  in  transmittal  from  father  to  son,  for  it  was 
claimed  that  the  ships  wintered  there,  that  the  people  caught  fish  and  killed 
seals  for  the  visitoi's,  and  that  several  of  them  '  kept  native  women  \\ith  tl;cm.' 
See  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  521.  The  old  chief  also  stated  that  the  'English'  had 
built  houses  and  pointed  out  a  spot  where  an  excavation  had  evidcnt!y  been 
made  long  years  ago.  This  last  report  referred  of  course  only  to  some  tem- 
porary shelter  for  protecting  the  landed  cargo.  The  same  man  pointed  out 
to  Mr  Petrof  the  position  in  which  the  ships  had  been  moored,  according 


While  the  ship's  companies  were  engaged  in  water- 
ing, repairing,  fishing,  and  gathering  berries  as  an. 
anti-scorbutic,  a  messenger  arrived  on  the  8th  with  a 
note  written  in  Russian  for  the  commander  of  each 
vessel,  and  a  gift,  consisting  of  a  salmon  pie,  baked  of 
rye-meal.  There  was  no  one  able  to  read  the  notes, 
but,  being  now  sure  that  some  Russians  resided  in  the 
immediate  vicinity.  Cook  caused  a  suitable  return  to 
be  made  in  the  shape  of  sundry  bottles  of  liquor.  Cor- 
poral John  Ledyard  w^as  sent  with  the  returning 
messenger  to  find  the  Russians,  invite  them  to  the 
anchorage,  and  obtain  all  available  information  con- 
cerning their  discoveries  in  American  waters. ^^ 

Ledyard's  experience  on  this  occasion  has  been  de- 
scribed by  himself  and  transmitted  to  posterity  by  his 
biographer.  He  succeeded  in  his  mission,  passed  a 
few  days  at  the  settlement  of  Illiuliuk,  and  brought 
back  three  Russian  hunters,  who  were  well  received, 
and  who  freely  imparted  such  information  as  could  be 
conveyed  by  signs  and  numerals. '^^     They  promised  to 

to  the  recollection  of  his  father,  a  position  which  agreed  exactly  with  that 
indicated  on  Cook's  chart  of  Samghanooda,  which  the  chief  certainly  neVer 
had  seen. 

2^  Cook's  Voy.,  ii.  495.  Cook  merely  says  that  he  sent  Ledyard,  but  in 
Sparks''  Life  of  Ltdyard,  79-80,  it  is  claimed  that  he  volunteered  and  thereby 
relieved  Cook  from  the  dilemma  of  selecting  an  officer  for  such  a  'dangerous' 
expedition.  The  present  of  bread  M'as  in  accordance  with  an  ancient  Russian 
custom,  still  observed,  of  presenting  bread  and  salt  to  new  an-ivals  in  a  town, 
dwelling,  or  neighborhood,  emblematic  of  the  wish  that  the  recipient  might 
never  want  for  the  necessaries  of  life.  Among  the  wealthy  the  most  elabo- 
rate confectionery  and  silver  or  gold  receptacles  take  the  place  of  bread  and 
salt  on  such  occasions. 

^^ Ledyard's  narrative  of  this  excursion  seems  to  me  somewhat  highly  col- 
ored, though  evidently  written  in  good  faith.  The  man  was  '  sensational '  by 
nature.  His  native  guides  evidently  did  not  take  him  to  his  destination  by 
the  shortest  route.  There  is  and  was  at  that  time  an  easy  path  only  12  miles 
in  length  from  the  head  of  Samghanooda  Bay  to  Captain  Harbor,  where  lay  the 
Russian  settlement.  Ledyard  was  made  to  walk  '  15  miles  into  the  interior '  on 
the  first  day,  to  a  native  village,  where  he  passed  the  night,  and  where  '  a  young 
woman  seemed  very  busy  to  please  '  him,  and  on  the  following  day  he  again 
walked  until  three  hours  before  dark  ere  reaching  Captain  Harbor,  which  he 
called  'four  leagues  over.'  It  is  about  five  miles.  The  distance  he  claims  to 
have  walked  after  this  Mas  measured  by  'tired  and  swollen  feet, 'but  finally  he 
was  carried  across  to  the  settlement,  squeezed  into  the  '  hole  '  of  a  two-hatch 
bidarka.  He  was  hospitably  entertained  after  due  exchange  of  civilities  and 
delivery  of  Cook's  presents.  The  next  morning  the  repellent  odors  of  a 
matutinal  meal  composed  of  '  whale,  sea-horse,  and  bear '  upset  Ledyard's 
stomach,  though  bears  and  walruses  are  unknown  in  Unalaska,    The  weather 


bring  a  map  showing  all  the  Russian  discoveries.  On 
the  14th  the  commander  of  the  Russian  expedition  in 
this  quarter  arrived  from  a  journey  and  landed  near 
Samghanooda.  His  name  was  Gerassim  Grigorovich 

The  usual  civilities  were  exchanged  and  Cook  had 
every  opportunity  of  questioning  his  visitor,  but  it  is 
evident  that  the  advantage  was  w^th  the  Russian,  who 
learned  from  the  Englishman  what  was  of  the  utmost 
importance  to  the  Siberian  merchants,  wiiile  he  told 
what  he  chose,  holding  back  much  information  in  his 
possession,  for  instance  the  visit  of  Polutof  to  Kadiak 
in  1776  and  the  long  residence  at  Unimak  Strait  of 

iDeing  bad  he  remained  another  day  and  examined  the  settlement,  counting 
thirty  Russians  and  seventy  Kamchatkans.  He  also  visited  a  small  sloop  of 
30  tons,  lying  near  the  village,  and  thus  describes  his  feelings  on  that  occa- 
sion: '  It  is  natural  to  an  ingenuous  mind,  when  it  enters  a  town,  a  house,  or 
ship,  that  has  been  rendered  famous  by  any  particular  event,  to  feel  the 
full  force  of  that  pleasure,  which  results  from  gratifying  a  noble  curiosity.  I 
was  no  sooner  informed  that  this  sloop  was  the  same  in  which  the  famous 
Bering  had  performed  those  discoveries  which  did  him  so  much  lionor,  and  his 
country  so  much  service,  than  I  was  determined  to  go  on  board  of  her  and 
indulge  in  the  generous  feelings  the  occasion  inspired.'  He  remained  an  hour, 
«ujoying  himself,  I  trust,  without  the  slightest  suspicion  of  the  fact  that 
the  craft  he  had  in  his  mind  had  been  broken  up  on  Bering  Island,  and 
that  the  sloop  constructed  from  the  remains  was  at  that  time  lying  fathoms 
deep  under  the  surface  on  the  Asiatic  shore.  The  sentimental  Yankee 
returned  to  the  ships  in  less  than  one  day.  Sparks'  Life  of  Ledyard,  85-90. 

^^The  report  given  by  Ismailof  of  Cook's  ^'isit  was  received  by  Major 
Behm,  commander  of  Kamchatka  in  April  1779.  The  document  simply  stated 
that  two  English  ships  had  anchored  on  the  north  side  of  Unalaska;  that  he 
i(IsmailGf)  had  rendered  the  visitors  every  assistance  in  obtaining  food  and 
water,  and  that  they  liad  communicated  by  signs  only,  owing  to  his  ignorance 
of  the  English  language.  Sr/ibnef  in  l\Iorskoi  Sboriiik,  ciii.  7,  21.  Ismailof 
■evidently  took  a  more  sensible  view  of  Cook's  expedition  than  did  the  author- 
ities in  Kamchatka.  At  the  time  of  the  presence  of  the  two  ships  in  Avatcha 
Bay,  Behm  was  on  the  point  of  leaving  for  Irkutsk,  but  in  view  of  the  '  critical 
•condition  of  the  country'  he  consented  to  remain  at  the  head  of  afi'airs.  The 
general  impression  was,  that  the  vessels  had  come  at  the  instigation  of  Ben- 
yovski  with  hostile  intent.  A  deputation  of  men  not  connected  with  the 
public  sei'vice  was  first  sent  to  meet  the  strangers,  probably  to  '  draw  fire, ' 
consisting  of  Behm's  servant,  a  merchant,  and  a  clerk.  At  the  same  time 
runners  and  messengers  were  despatched  to  all  the  forts  and  ostrogs  to  put 
the  garrisons  upon  their  guard.  The  subsequent  friendly  intercourse  with 
the  strangers  was  carried  on  under  constant  apprehension.  The  desired  sup- 
plies were  furnished  free  of  charge,  because,  as  Shmalef  wrote,  '  the  high 
price  we  must  have  asked  would  ha^•e  incensed  them. '  Shmalef  never  be- 
lieved in  the  scientific  objects  of  the  expedition  and  urged  the  for^^'arding  of 
reenforcements.  The  presents  of  curiosities  made  to  Behm  were  all  by  him 
transmitted  to  the  imperial  academy,  in  order  to  purge  himself  of  all  suspicion 
of  having  been  bribed  by  the  enemy.  S(jibnef,  in  Morskoi  Sbornik^  ciii.  7,  22-6. 


Zaikof,  who  was  even  then  at  Umnak,  close  by.  The 
corrected  map  of  the  islands  shown  to  Cook  was 
probably  the  work  of  this  same  Potap  Zaikof  ^°  The 
most  important  correction  he  received  for  his  own 
work  was  the  existence  of  the  island  of  Unimak, 
which  had  been  laid  down  on  Cook's  chart  as  part  of 
the  continent.  Ismailof  remained  near  Samghanooda 
until  the  21st  of  October,  and  on  his  departure  was 
intrusted  with  despatches  for  the  lords  commissioners 
of  the  British  admiralty  which  he  promised  to  for- 
ward the  following  spring  to  Okhotsk  and  thence  to 
St  Petersburg  by  way  of  Siberia. 

Another  intelligent  Russian  whom  Cook  mentioned 
in  his  journal  was  Yakof  Ivanovich  Saposhnikof,  in 
command  of  a  vessel  then  lying  at  Unga." 

The  accompanying  reproduction  of  the  chart  show- 
ing Cook's  discoveries  and  surveys  as  far  as  they  fall 
within  the  scope  of  this  volume  will  convey  an  ade- 
quate idea  of  how  much  we  owe  to  this  eminent  navi- 

On  the  26th  of  October,  after  a  sojourn  of  twenty- 
three  days,  the  Resolution  and  Discovery  sailed  from 
Samghanooda  Harbor  for  the  Hawaiian  Islands, 
where  the  gallant  commander  was  to  end  his  explora- 
tion and  his  life. 

In  the  following  year  the  expedition  returned  to 
Kamchatka  under  command  of  Captain  Clarke,  next 
to  Cook  in  rank,  and  thence  proceeded  to  explore 
beyond  Bering  Strait  for  a  north-east  passage  tO' 
the  Atlantic.  After  reaching  latitude  70°  33'  near 
the  American  coast  the  vessels  were  obliged  by  ice 
to  turn  back.  The  conclusion  arrived  at  was  that  no 
passage  existed  south  of  latitude  65°,  and  that  it  must 

*^  With  reference  to  a  Russian  note  received  on  board  the  Discovery  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  Shuinagin  Islands,  Cook  understood  Ismailof  to  say  that  it 
had  been  written  at  Uninak,  l)ut  it  is  safe  to  assume  that  he  said  the  writer 
was  then  at  Uniiiak,  and  tliat  Zaikof  had  extended  his  explorations  to  the 
Shumagin.  C'ook'n  Voy.,  ii.  4!)0. 

^'  Berg  mentions  tlie  sloop  named  Pavel,  or  St  Paul,  commanded  by  the 
matrosti  (sailor)  Saposhnikof,  which  returned  to  Okhotsk  in  1780.  KhronoL 
1st.,  Table  i. 



Cook's  Voyage— Southekn  Section. 



be  sought  north  of  Bering  Strait,  beyond  Icy  Cape, 
leading  probably  to  Baffin  Bay ;  yet  it  would  be  mad- 
ness to  attempt  the  passage  during  the  short  time  the 
route  might  be  free  from  ice.  Hardly  less  hopeful 
appeared^the  prospect  for  sailing  westward  along  the 
northern  coast  of  Siberia.  The  sea  nearer  the  pole 
would  probably  be  less  obstructed  by  ice.     Clarke 





East  Ca 

f'Cape  Lisburn 


r  -  ^— .4rcHc  Circle 

Cook's  Voyagk— Northern  Section. 

died  August  22d,  as  the  vessels  approached  Petro- 
pavlovsk,  and  here  he  was  buried.  Captain  Gore 
took  the  expedition  home  by  way  of  Japan,  China, 
and  Cape  of  Good  Hope.  While  in  China  several 
small  lots  of  sea-otter  skins  were  disposed  of  by  men 
and  officers  at  prices  which  seemed  fabulous,  and  the 


excitement  created  by  this  success  resulted  in  quite  a 
rush  of  vessels  to  the  Northwest  Coast,  and  a  brisk 
competition  sprang  up  with  Russians  in  the  purchase 
of  furs  there  and  in  their  sale  in  China. ^^ 

In  1776  orders  were  issued  in  Spain  to  fit  out 
another  expedition  to  the  north,  to  continue  and  com- 
plete the  discoveries  of  Cuadra  made  the  previous 
year,  but  the  execution  of  the  plan  was  delayed,  and 
not  until  February  11,  1779,  did  two  vessels,  the 
Princesa  and  the  Favorita,  sail  from  San  Bias,  with 
Lieutenant  Ignacio  Arteaga  in  conmiand,  and  Cuadra 
as  second.*^ 

On  the  28th  of  April  the  expedition,  which  had 
orders  to  attain  a  latitude  of  70°,  found  itself  in  lati- 
tude 54°  45',  and  on  the  2d  of  May  the  vessels  entered 
Bucareli  Sound,  Arteaga  anchoring  in  a  sheltered 
bay  on  the  south  side,  which  he  named  Santa  Cruz, 
and  Cuadra  exploring  the  north  side  of  the  sound, 
but  finally  joining  his  commander  in  the  Puerto  de 
Santa  Cruz  on  the  5th.  As  soon  as  Cuadra  had  re- 
ported to  Arteaga  for  orders,  it  was  resolved  to  fit 
out  an  expedition  of  two  boats  for  a  thorough  explora- 
tion of  the  interior  of  the  sound.  The  crews  of  both 
vessels  were  constantly  employed  in  preparing  the 
boats,  supplying  wood  and  water,  and  assisting  the 
ofificers  in  their  astronomical  observations.  On  the 
13th  a  solemn  mass  was  celebrated  on  shore,  with 
accompaniment  of  music  and  artillery,  a  cross  was 

■•'^  Captain  King,  who  wrote  the  last  volume  of  Cooh^s  Voyage,  pointed  out 
the  advantages  of  this  trade,  and  suggested  methods  to  be  observed  therein. 
Cooh's  Voy.,  iii.  430-8. 

*^See  FJist.  Northwest  Coast,  passim,  this  series.  Also,  Arteaga,  Tercera 
exploracion  hecha  el  ano  1779  con  las  Fragatas  del  rey,  '  la  Princesa,^  mandada 
por  el  teniente  de  navio  don  Ignacio  Arteaga,  y  la  '  Favorita '  par  el  de  la  misma 
clase  don  Juan  Francisco  de  la  Bodega  y  Cuadra,  desde  el  puerto  de  San  Bias 
hasta  los  sesnita  y  un  grados  de  latitud,  in  Viages  cd  Norte  de  Cal.,  MS.,  No.  4; 
Maurelle,  Navegacion  hecha  por  el  Alfcrez  de  Fragata  de  la  Real  Armada  Don 
Francwco  Antonio  Maurelle  deslinado  de  segundo  capitan  de  la  Fragata  '  Favo- 
rita,^ Id.,  MS.,  No.  5.  Bodega  y  Cuadra,  Segunda  salida  hasta  los  61  grados 
en  la  Fragata  '  Nuestra  Seiiora  de  los  Remedios,''  alias  la  'Favorita,^  Aiio  de 
1779,  MS.,  id..  No.  6^;  Bodi^ga  y  Cuadra,  Navegacion  y  descubrimientos  hechos 
de  ordcn  de  S.  M.  en  la  Costa  septejiirional  de  California,  1779,  in  Mayer, 
MSS.,No.  13. 


erected  in  a  prominent  place,  and  under  waving  of 
flags  and  salvos  of  musketry  the  country  was  taken 
possession  of  in  the  name  of  the  king,  the  savages 
gazing  stolidly  at  this  insanity  of  civilization. 

On  the  18th  the  two  boats  sailed  from  the  bahia 
de  la  Santisima  Cruz,  with  a  complement  of  five  offi- 
cers, four  soldiers,  and  twenty-four  sailors.  They 
were  provisioned  for  eighteen  days.  The  result  of 
the  expedition  was  the  earliest  and  best  survey  ever 
made  of  the  most  important  harbor  of  Prince  of  Wales 

During  the  absence  of  the  boats  on  this  errand 
the  natives  gathered  in  numbers  about  the  ships  in 
the  bahia  de  la  Santisima  Cruz.  The  strict  orders  of 
the  commander  to  avoid  a  conflict,  and  to  ignore  small 
thefts,  soon  worked  its  evil  effect  upon  these  children 
of  nature,  who  could  not  understand  leniency  or  un- 
willingness to  punish  robbery  and  to  recover  losses, 
unless  it  was  based  upon  weakness  or  lack  of  courage. 
Working  parties  on  the  shore  were  molested  to  such 
an  extent  that  it  became  necessary  to  surround  them 
with  a  cordon  of  sentries  only  five  paces  apart,  and 
sailors  were  robbed  of  their  clothes  while  washing 
them.  Under  these  circumstances  the  return  of  the 
lanclias  with  their  crews  was  hailed  with  joy;  but  by 
by  this  time  over  eighty  canoes  manned  by  a  thousand 
savages  w^ere  in  the  bay  and  great  caution  was  neces- 
sary to  avoid  hostilities.  Even  the  firing  of  cannon 
did  not  seem  to  frighten  the  Indians,  and  when  a 

**The  officers  were  Francisco  JSIaurelle,  Jos6  Camacho,  Juan  Bantista 
Aguirre,  Juan  Pantojo,  and  Juan  Garcia.  The  armament  consisted  of  8  fal- 
conets and  20  muskets,  with  25  rounds  of  ammunition  for  each.  They  pro- 
ceeded first  to  the  south-western  point,  San  Bartolomt^,  of  the  entrance  to  the 
sound,  and  then  around  the  western  shore,  carefully  sounding  and  locating 
bays,  islets,  and  points.  The  names  applied  were  very  numerous,  the  most 
important  being  as  follows:  puerto  de  San  Antonio,  puerto  de  la  Asuncion; 
the  islands  San  Ignacio  and  Santa  Rita;  puerto  de  la  Real  Marina;  canal  de 
Portillo;  bahia  de  Esquivcl;  canal  de  San  Cristobal;  the  islands  of  San  Fer- 
nando and  San  Juan  Bautistt^  boca  del  Almirante;  bahia  de  San  Alberto; 
puerto  del  Bagial;  puerto  de  San  NicoUs;  the  canos  del  Trocadero;  the 
island  of  INIadrc  de  Dios;  puerto  de  la  Caldera;  i^uerto  de  la  Estrella;  puerto 
del  Refugio — which  was  subsequently  found  to  be  a  passage — and  the  puerto 
de  los  Dolores. 

NEW  NAJillNGS.  219 

canoe  was  struck  by  a  ball  and  the  inmates  fell,  the 
effect  was  only  temporary.  Arteaga  seized  a  chief  in 
order  to  obtain  the  return  of  two  sailors  who  had  been 
reported  as  held  captive  in  the  native  village,  but  it 
was  found  that  the  Spaniards  had  voluntarily  joined 
the  savages  with  the  intention  to  desert.*^ 

During  the  last  days  of  June  the  two  ships  were 
moved  across  the  sound  to  the  bay  of  San  Antonio, 
and  thence  they  finally  sailed  the  1st  of  July,  taking 
a  north-westerly  course  along  the  coast.  Mount  St 
Elias  was  sighted  on  the  Qth,"*^  and  a  few  days  later 
Kaye,  or  Kyak,  Island  was  named  Cdrmen.  The 
next  anchorage,  probably  Nuchek  Bay,  was  named 
Puerto  de  Santiago,  and  a  boat  expedition  went  to 
ascertain  whether  the  land  was  connected  with  the 
continent.  The  officer  in  charge  reported  that  he  had 
convinced  himself  that  it  was  an  island.^^  The  usual 
forms  of  taking  possession  were  observed,  being  the 
third  ceremony  of  the  kind  performed  upon  nearly 
the  same  ground  within  a  year — by  Cook  in  1778,  by 
a  party  of  Zaikof's  men,  who  had  been  despatched  in 
a  bidar  from  Cook  Inlet,  in  June  1779,  and  again  by 
Arteaga.  Cuadra,  in  his  journal,  expressed  the  con- 
viction that  a  large  river  must  enter  the  sea  between 
Carmen  Island  and  the  harbor  of  Santiago,  thus  cor- 
rectly locating  Copper  River,  which  both  Cook  and 
Vancouver  failed  to  observe.*^ 

^^With  the  avowed  object  of  'gaining  a  better  knowledge  of  the  people 
and  their  customs,'  Arteaga  sanctioned  the  purchase  of  five  children.  Two 
girls,  aged  respectively  seven  and  eight  years,  were  taken  on  board  the 
Princesa,  and  the  boys,  between  five  and  ten,  on  the  Favorita.  Tercera  Explo- 
radon,  in  Viarjes  al  Norte,  MS.,  etc.,  111. 

*s  Alluded  to  as  Cape  St  Elias  in  the  journal,  'Ygualmente  tenian  d  la 
vista  el  elevado  promontorio  de  San  Elias  sobre  las  nxibes,  presentandose  en 
forma  de  un  pan  de  aziicar ;'  but  it  is  doubtful  what  point  or  mountain  this 
was,  for  the  ships  were  at  a  great  distance  from  the  shore.  Tercera  Expl.,  in 
Viarjes  al  Norte,  MS.,  etc.  113. 

*'  If  this  was  really  Nuchek,  or  Hinchinbrook  Island,  the  Spaniards  antici- 
pated Vancouver's  discovery  of  the  fact  bj'  14  years.  Tercera  Expl,  in  Viages 
al  Norte,  MS. ,  1 16-17.  During  this  boat  expedition  many  canoes  of  the  natives 
were  seen,  and  on  one  of  them  a  flag  was  displayed  showing  the  colors  red, 
white,  and  blue. 

*^  Arteaga,  while  at  this  anchorage,  convened  a  junta  of  officers  for  the  pur- 
pose of  considering  the  advisability  of  returning  at  once  to  San  Bias.     His 


On  the  28tli  the  ships  put  to  sea  once  more,  taking 
a  south-westerly  course,  without  attempting  to  find  a 
passage  at  the  head  of  Prince  Wilham  Sound  as  Cook 
had  done  in  the  preceding  year,  and  on  the  1st  of 
August  they  found  an  anchorage  formed  by  several 
islands  in  latitude  59°  8'.  Formal  possession  was 
again  taken  and  the  largest  island  of  the  group  named 
Isla  de  la  Regla.  This  was  the  Cape  Elizabeth  of 
Cook,  who  had  failed  to  notice  its  separation  from  the 
continent.  The  Iliamna  volcano  on  the  west  shore 
of  Cook  Inlet  was  sighted  from  this  point  and  named 

After  a  short  stay  at  this  anchorage,  Arteaga 
concluded  to  give  up  further  explorations  and  to 
sail  direct  for  Cape  Mendocino.  The  departure  took 
place  on  the  7th  of  August,  and  thus  ended,  so  far  as 
relates  to  Alaska,  an  expedition  which  w^ould  have 
been  of  the  greatest  importance  had  it  not  been  for 
the  English  explorations  of  the  year  preceding.  Ar- 
teaga and  his  officers  could  know  nothing  of  Cook's 
investigations  and  believed  themselves  the  first  to  ex- 
plore the  region  already  visited  by  the  Resolution  and 
Discovei^y  between  Cross  Sound  and  Cape  Elizabeth, 
but  even  after  deducting  from  the  result  of  their  work 

own  timidity  conld  not  prevail  against  the  ambitious  courage  of  Maurelle  and 
Cuadra,  who  insisted  that  some  further  discoveries  must  be  attempted  before 
relinquishing  so  costly  an  expedition.  TerceraExpl. ,  in  Viagesal  Norte,  MS.  ,117. 
■•"In  the  journals  this  mountain  was  described  as  bearing  a  striking  x-esem- 
blance  to  the  Orizaba  of  Mexico  and  the  peak  of  Teneriffe.  Viacjes  al  Norte, 
MS.,  120.  A  map  of  the  anchorage  is  still  in  existence,  pasted  in  at  the  end 
of  the  manuscript  entitled  Azanza,  Ynntruccion,  etc.  This  map  represents 
the  islands  of  the  Cape  Elizabeth  group — Tzukli  of  the  Russians — and  the 
adjoining  coast  of  the  Kenai  peninsula,  but,  though  correct  in  its  contours, 
with  the  exception  of  representing  the  mainland  as  islands — Ysla  de  Mau- 
relle in  the  north  and  Ysla  de  San  Bruno  in  the  east— it  does  not  correspond 
in  its  details  with  the  narrative  contained  in  Viages  al  Norte.  There  is  a  dis- 
crepancy even  between  the  map  and  the  legend,  the  latter  stating  that  'ha- 
viendose  tomado  segdo  posesion  en  la  Ysla  de  San  Antonio,'  but  no  such 
island  is  on  the  chart.  The  projecting  points  of  the  mainland  are  named  as 
stated  above;  the  island  containing  Capp  Elizabeth  was  named  Ysla  de  San 
Aniceto,  and  the  smaller  islands  and  rocks  el  Sombrero,  de  Ayala,  de  San 
Angel,  de  Arriaga,  la  Monja,  los  Frailes.  The  point  where  possession  was 
taken  is  marked  with  a  cross  on  the  n.  w.  point  of  San  Aniceto.  The  open- 
ing between  the  latter  and  the  mainland  is  named  ensenada  de  Nuestra 
Sefiora  de  la  Regla.  The  latitude  is  correctly  given  as  59°  8',  the  long. -49°  11' 
w.  of  San  Bias.  Azanza,  Ynstruccion,  etc. 


all  that  may  be  affected  by  Cook's  prior  discovery, 
the  careful  survey  of  Bucareli  Sound,  in  connection 
with  Heceta's  and  Cuadra's  prior  explorations,  presents 
a  basis  for  Spain's  claims  to  the  coast  region  to  lati- 
tude 58°  so  far  as  relative  right  of  discovery  is  con- 
cerned, attended  by  the  ceremony  of  taking  possession. 
A  little  more  energy  or  ambition  on  Arteaga's  part 
would  have  led  to  a  meeting  with  the  Russians  and 
liiade  the  subsequent  expedition  of  Martinez  and  Haro 
unnecessary.  ^'^ 

The  viceroy  of  Mexico  declared  himself  highly 
pleased  with  the  results  of  the  voyage,  and  advanced 
one  step  the  rank  of  all  the  officers  on  both  vessels. 
At  the  same  time  he  stated  that  no  further  discoveries 
in  a  northerly  direction  would  be  undertaken  for  the 
present.  ^^ 

^°  The  sloop  Kliment,  belonging  to  the  Panof  Company,  was  cruising  about 
Kadiak  at  the  very  time  of  Arteaga's  presence  at  La  Regla.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st., 

^1  Cartas  de  los  Excelentmmos  Sres  Vireyes  don  Antonio  Bucareli,  don  Mar- 
tin  de  Mayorga,  etc.,  in  Viagesal  Norte,  MS.,  etc.,  126-7. 




FiBST  Attempted  Settlement  of  the  Russians  in  America— Voyage  op 
Geigor  Shelikof — Permanent  Establishment  of  the  Russians  at 
Kadiak — Return  of  Shelikof — His  Instructions  to  Samoilof,  Col- 
onial Commander — The  Historic  Sable  and  Otter — Skins  as  Cur- 
rency— Trapping  and  Tribute-collecting — Method  of  Conducting 
THE  Hunt — Regulations  of  the  Peredovchiki — God's  Sables  and 
Man's — Review  of  the  Fur-trade  on  the  Coasts  of  Asia  and  Amer- 
ica— Pernicious  System  Introduced  by  the  Promyshleniki — The 
China  Market  —  Foreign  Rivals  and  their  Method — Abuse  of 
Natives — Cook's  and  Vancouver's  Opinions  of  Competition  with 
the  Russians — Extirpation  of  Animals. 

We  enter  here  a  new  epoch  of  Alaska  history. 
Hitherto  all  has  been  discovery,  exploration,  and  the 
hunting  of  fur-bearing  animals,  with  little  thought  of 
permanent  settlement.  But  now  Grigor  Ivanovich 
Shelikof  comes  to  the  front  as  the  father  and  founder 
of  Russian  colonies  in  America.^ 

'  One  of  the  chief  authorities  for  this  period  of  Alaska  history,  and  indeed 
the  only  full  account  of  Shelikof 's  visit  to  America,  is  a  work  written  by  him- 
self and  published  after  his  death.  It  is  entitled  Orirjoria  Shelikhova  Stran- 
slvoranie,  etc.,  or  Gririor  Shel/kof's  Journeys  from  17S3  to  17S7,  from  Okhotsk 
to  the  Eastern  Ocean  and  the  Coast  of  America,  with  a  prodolshenie,  or  contin- 
uation. Printed  at  St  Petersburg  in  1792-3,  12mo,  with  maps.  In  1793 
both  of  these  books  were  translated  by  one  J.  J.  Logan  into  English  and  pub- 
lished in  one  8vo  volume  at  St  Petersburg.  Pallas  printed  a  German  trans- 
lation, chiefly  remarkable  for  inaccuracies,  in  his  Nord.  Beitr.,  vi.  165-249. 
And  still  another  German  translation  appeared  in  Basse's  Journal  fiir  Buss- 
land,  17'J4f  i-  Shelikof  s  fii'st  volume  contains  voluminous  descriptions  of  the 
Aleutian  Islands,  with  whole  passages,  and  even  pages,  identical  in  every 
respect  with  corresponding  passages  in, the  anonymous  German  Neue  Nach- 
richten,  the  authorship  of  which  I  ascribe  to  J.  L.  Schlozer.  It  is  safe  to 
assume  that  Shelikof  had  access  to  this  work  published  some  20  years  before 
his  own,  and  used  it  in  writing  his  own  volume.  Slielikof's  book  was  repub- 
lished in  one  volume,  without  maps,  in  1812,  under  title  of  Puteshestvie  G. 
Shelikhova  1783-1790.     It  seems  that  the  directors  of  the  Russian  American 



In  1 783  the  company  of  Siberian  merchants  of  which 
Shehkof  and  Ivan  GoHkof  were  the  principal  share- 
holders, finished  three  ships  at  Okhotsk  for  operating 
on  a  larger  scale  in  the  region  then  designated  as  the 
ostrova,  or  the  islands.  The  ships  were  the  Trekh 
SviatiteU,  Three  Saints,  the  Sv  Simeon,  and  the  Sv 
Mikhail.  On  the  IGth  of  August  they  sailed  with  one 
hundred  and  ninety-two  men  in  all,  the  largest  force 
which  had  hitherto  left  the  Siberian  coast  at  one  time. 
Shelikof  and  his  wife/  who  accompanied  her  husband 
in  all  his  travels,  were  on  the  Trekh  SviatiteU,  com- 
manded by  Ismailof.  The  first  part  of  the  voyage 
was  stormy,  the  wind  contrary,  and  the  ships  were 
unable  to  leave  the  sea  of  Okhotsk,  but  on  the  2d  of 
September  the  squadron  anchored  near  the  second 
Kurile  island,  for  the  purpose  of  watering,  and  then 
passed  safely  into  the  Pacific.  On  the  12th  a  gale 
separated  the  vessels,  and  after  prolonged  and  futile 
efforts  to  find  the  Sv  Mikha/il,  Shelikof  concluded  to 
pass  the  winter  on  Bering  Island  with  the  two  other 
vessels.  Thanks  to  the  enforcement  of  wise  regula- 
tions framed  by  Shelikof,  the  crews  suffered  but  little 
from  scurvy,  and  in  June  of  the  following  year  the 
expedition  steered  once  more  to  the  eastward.  A  few 
stoppages  were  made  on  Copper,  Atkha,  and  other 
islands,  with  a  longer  stay  at  Unalaska,  where  the  two 
ships  were  repaired,  and  refitted  with  water  and  pro- 
Company  resented  the  publication  of  the  book.  In  the  'Secret  Instructions' 
forwarded  to  Baranof  in  1802  occurs  the  following  reference  to  this  subject: 
'You  must  send  your  communications  to  the  chief  administration  direct,  and 
not  to  Okhotsk,  since  the  company  has  very  little  to  do  with  provincial 
authorities,  and  also  because  the  government  at  present  has  many  views  con- 
cerning America  that  must  be  kept  a  profound  secret,  being  confided  only  to 
you  as  chief  manager.  Therefore  it  is  not  proper  to  forward  such  information 
through  the  government  authorities  at  Irkutsk,  where  no  secret  could  be 
preserved.  As  a  proof  of  this  may  serve  you  the  endorsed  book  of  Grigor 
jShelikof's  Travela.  It  is  nothing  but  his  journals  transmitted  to  governor 
general  Jacobi,  on  whose  retirement  it  was  stolen  from  the  chancellery  by 
Mr  Piel,  and  printed  against  the  will  of  the  deceased.  Consequently  secrets 
of  state  were  exposed.  I  refer  to  the  location  of  tablets  claiming  possession 
of  the  country  for  Russia.'  Sitka  Archives,  MS.,  Con.  I.,  1-21. 

^Shelikof,  Putesh.,  i.  2.  Natalia  Shelikof  was  possessed  of  great  energy 
and  business  capacity.  After  lier  husband's  death  she  managed  fo^-  many 
years  not  only  her  own  but  the  company's  business.  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos., 
ii.,  app.  108-13. 


visions.  The  Sinwon  had  been  separated  from  her 
consort  during  the  voyage  along  the  Aleutian  chain, 
but  she  made  her  appearance  in  the  harbor  a  few  days 
after  the  arrival  of  the  Sviatiteli.  Shelikof  obtained 
two  interpreters  and  ten  Aleutian  hunters,  and  leaving 
instructions  for  the  guidance  of  the  Sv  Mihhall  he 
shaped  his  course  for  the  island  of  Kikhtak,  subse- 
quently named  Kadiak.^  The  voyage  was  devoid  of 
incident,  and  on  the  3d  of  August  1784  the  two  ships 
entered  a  capacious  bay  on  the  south-east  coast  of  the 
island,  between  cape  Barnabas  and  the  two-headed 
cape  of  Cook,  and  anchored  in  its  westernmost  branch, 
naming  it  after  the  ship  TrekJi  Sviatiteli,  Three  Saints.* 
Armed  parties  of  promyshleniki  were  sent  out  in 
boats  and  bidars  to  search  for  natives,  but  only  one 
succeeded,  and  brought  news  that  a  large  body  of 
aboriginals  had  been  found.  They  had  avoided  a 
meeting,  however,  and  it  was  not  until  the  following 
day  that  another  exploring  party  returned  with  one 
of  the  natives.  Shelikof  treated  the  captive  kindly, 
loaded  him  with  presents,  and  allowed  him  to  return 
to  his  people.  On  the  5th  there  was  an  eclipse  of  the 
sun  which  lasted  an  hour  and  a  half,  and  caused  much 
uneasiness  among  the  natives,  who  naturally  con- 
nected the  phenomenon  with  the  appearance  of  the 

3  Shelikof,  Putesh. ,  i.  36.  Kikhtak,  or  Kikhtowik,  is  the  Innuit  word  for 
island.  At  the  present  day  the  natives  of  the  peninsula  speak  of  the  Kadiak 
people  simply  as  Kikhtagamuteft,  islanders.  The  tribal  name  appears  to  have 
been  Kaniag  and  the  Russian  appellation  now  in  use  was  probably  derived 
from  both.  Glottof  first  landed  and  wintered  on  the  island  in  1763,  after 
which  it  was  several  times  visited. 

*  The  shores  of  Three  Saints  Harbor  are  generally  steep  and  rocky,  but 
about  a  mile  from  its  entrance  a  gravelly  bar  or  spit  from  the  southern  side 
forms  a  horseshoe,  opening  into  the  interior  of  the  bay.  Such  locations 
were  peculiarly  adapted  to  the  requirements  of  the  Russians  at  that  time. 
The  small  land-locked  basin  formed  by  the  spit  was  deep  enough  for  such 
vessels  as  they  had ;  the  shelving  shore  enabled  them  to  beach  their  vessels 
during  winter  and  to  utilize  them  as  dwellings  or  fortifications,  while  the 
level  sandbar  afforded  convenient  building  sites.  The  adjoining  hills  and 
mountains  being  devoid  of  timber,  there  was  no  danger  of  surprise  from  the 
landj  and  water  enclosed  three  sides  of  the  settlement. 

^Shelikof,  Putesh.,  i.  51.  It  has  been  hinted  that  Shelikof  used  this  little 
incident  in  imitation  of  the  Sppnish  discoverer  of  America,  to  impress  the 
savages  with  his  occult  powers.     The  one  who  had  been  so  kindly  received 


Another  exploring  party  was  sent  out  on  the  7th 
with  instructions  to  select  hunting-grounds,  and  if 
possible  to  circumnavigate  the  island  and  observe  its 
coasts.  After  two  da^^s,  when  about  ten  leagues  from 
the  anchorage,  this  expedition  fell  in  with  a  large  party 
of  savages  who  had  taken  up  a  position  on  a  Jcehour,^ 
or  detached  cliff,  near  the  shore,  surrounded  by  water. 
An  interpreter  was  at  once  sent  forward  to  open 
friendly  intercourse,  but  the  islanders  told  the  mes- 
senger to  inform  the  Russians  that  if  they  wished  to 
escape  with  their  lives  they  should  leave  the  island  at 
once.  The  natives  could  not  be  persuaded  to  abandon 
this  hostile  attitude,  and  the  exploring  party  returned 
to  the  harbor  to  report. 

Shelikof  at  once  proceeded  to  the  spot  with  all  the 
men  that  could  be  spared  from  the  encampment,  but 
when  he  reached  the  scene  he  found  the  savages  in 
formidable  numbers  and  full  of  courage.  Peaceful 
overtures  were  still  continued, '^  but  were  wholly  lost 
on  the  savages.  Arrows  began  to  fly,  and  the  Rus- 
sians retired  to  the  ships  to  prepare  for  defence.  Not 
long  afterward  the  Koniagas  stole  upon  the  Russian 
camp  one  dark  night,  and  began  a  desperate  fight 
which  lasted  till  daylight,  when  the  savages  took  to 
flight.^  But  this  was  by  no  means  the  end  of  it. 
From  his  Koniaga  friend  Shelikof  learned  that  his 
people  were  only  awaiting  reenforcements  to  renew 
the  attack.  He  accordingly  determined  to  anticipate 
them  by  possessing  himself  at  once  of  their  strong- 
returned  voluntarily  in  a  few  days  and  did  not  leave  Shelikof  again  as  long 
as  the  latter  remained  on  the  island. 

*Such  places,  to  which  the  Russians  applied  the  Kamchatka  name  of 
Jcekour,  were  often  used  by  the  natives  as  natural  fortifications  and  places 
of  refuge.  War  parties  or  hunting  expeditions  would  leave  their  women  and 
children  upon  such  cliffs  for  safe-keeping  till  their  return. 

^  In  Shelikof 's  journal,  which  was  published  after  his  death,  the  number 
of  natives  was  given  at  4,000,  but  one  tenth  would  be  nearer  the  truth.  In 
his  official  report  to  the  governor  of  eastern  Siberia  no  figures  are  given. 
Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  8;  Shelikof,  Putesh.,  i.  10,  11.  Lissianski  was  in- 
formed in  1804  by  a  native  eye-witness  that  only  400  men,  women,  and  chil- 
dren were  on  the  kekour.  Liss.  Voy.,  ISO. 

_  «  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  9;  Shelikof,  Putesh.,  i.  113-16.    Shelikof  reports 
this  affair  as  having  occui-red  on  the  12th  of  August. 
Hist.  Alaska.    15 


hold  on  the  rocky  islet.  A  small  force  of  picked  pro- 
myshleniki  approached  the  enemy  in  boats.  A  heavy 
shower  of  spears  fell  on  them;  but  the  havoc  made 
by  a  few  discharges  of  grape  from  the  falconet  aimed 
at  the  huts  caused  great  consternation,  and  a  general 
stampede  followed,  during  which  many  were  killed, 
while  a  large  number  lost  their  lives  by  jumping  over 
the  precipice,  and  as  Shelikof  claims,  over  one  thou- 
sand were  taken  prisoners.^  The  casualties  on  the 
side  of  the  Russians  were  confined  to  a  few  severe 
and  many  trifling  wounds.  Shelikof  claims  that  he 
retained  four  hundred  of  the  prisoners,  allowing  the 
remainder  to  go  to  their  homes,  and  they  were  held 
not  as  regular  captives,  but  in  a  kind  of  temporary 
subjection.  "At  their  own  desire,"  as  Shelikof  puts 
it,  "they  were  located  fifty  versts  away  from  the  har- 
bor without  any  Russian  guards,  simply  furnishing 
hostages  as  a  guarantee  of  good  faith  and  good  be- 
havior." The  hostages  consisted  of  children  who  were 
to  be  educated  by  the  Russians.^'' 

Nor  was  this  second  battle  the  end  of  native  efforts 
for  life  and  liberty.  Attacks  still  occurred  from  time 
to  time,  generally  upon  detached  hunting  or  explora- 
tion parties,  but  in  each  case  the  savages  were  re- 
pulsed with  loss.  The  promptness  with  which  they 
were  met  evidently  destroyed  their  confidence  in 
themselves,  arising  from  their  easy  victory  over  the 
first  Russian  visitors. 

Meanwhile  no  time  was  lost  in  pushing  prepara- 

^  Shelikof ,  Putesh.,  i.  18.  Says  Shelikof  in  his  journal:  'I  do  not  boast 
of  the  shedding  of  blood,  but  I  am  sure  that  Ave  killed  some  of  our  assailants. 
I  endeavored  to  find  out  the  number,  but  failed  because  they  carried  their 
dead  with  them  and  thi-ew  them  into  the  sea.'  Compare  Tchitchino/'s  Ad- 
ventures, MS.,  36-7;  Sololofs  Markofs  Voy.,  MS.,  7-9. 

^°  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obox.,  i.  10.  Shelikof  writes:  'I  retained  400  pris- 
oners, furnished  them  with  provisions  and  all  necessary  appliances  for  trap- 
ping and  hunting,  and  placed  .them  in  charge  of  a  native  named  Kaskak.' 
Puiexh.,  i.  18,  19.  The  same  name  of  Kaskak  occurs  in  the  narrative  of  a 
native  of  Kadiak  collected  by  Holmberg,  relating  to  the  first  landing  of  Rus- 
sians on  Kadiak  Island,  20  years  prior  to  Shelikof's  arrival.  Sauer  writes 
eight  years  later  that  200  young  females  were  then  kept  as  hostages.  A 
party  of  women  had  once  been  captui'ed  and  retained,  though  wives  were 
exchanged  for  daughters.  He  places  the  population  of  the  island  at  3,500. 
Billings'  Voy.,  171. 


tions  for  permanent  occupancy  of  the  island.  In  a 
few  weeks  dwelling-houses  and  fortifications  were 
erected  by  the  expert  Russian  axemen,  and  Shelikof 
took  care  to  furnish  his  own  residence  with  all  the 
comforts  and  a  few  of  the  luxuries  of  civilization,  such 
as  he  could  collect  from  the  two  vessels,  in  order  to 
inspire  the  savage  breast  with  respect  for  superior 
culture.  And,  indeed,  as  time  passed  by,  the  chasm 
dividing  savage  and  civilized  was  filled,  the  Koniagas 
ascending  in  some  respects  and  the  Russians  descend- 
ing. The  natives  watched  with  the  greatest  curiosity 
the  construction  of  houses  and  fortifications  after 
the  Russian  fashion,  until  they  voluntarily  offered 
to  assist.  A  school  was  conducted  by  Shelikof  in 
person;  he  endeavored  to  teach  both  children  and 
adults  the  Russian  lano^uas^e  and  arithmetic,  and  to 
sow  the  seeds  of  Christianity.  According  to  his 
account  he  turned  forty  heathens  into  Christians  dur- 
ing his  sojourn  on  Kadiak ;  but  we  may  presume  that 
their  knowledge  of  the  faith  did  not  extend  beyond 
the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  perhaps  repeating  a  few 
words  of  the  creed  without  the  slightest  understand- 
ing of  its  meaning.  So  that  when  the  pious  colonist 
asserts  that  the  converts  began  at  once  to  spread  the 
new  religion  among  their  countrymen  we  may  con- 
clude that  he  is  exaggerating.^^ 

As  soon  as  possible  Shelikof  turned  his  attention 
once  more  to  the  exploration  of  the  island.  A  party 
of  fifty-two  promyshleniki  and  eleven  Aleuts  from 
the  Fox  Islands  went  to  the  north  and  north-east  in 
four  large  bidars,  accompanied  b}^  one  hundred  and  ten 
Koniagas  in  their  own  bidarkas.  This  was  in  May 
1785.  The  object  of  the  expedition  was  to  make 
the  acquaintance  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  adjoining 

"  Shelikof  dwells  at  length  upon  his  efforts  to  induce  the  Koniagas  to 
become  subjects  of  Riissia,  and  claims  to  have  met  with  success.  He  also 
planted  vegetables,  but  could  not  j^revail  upon  the  Kadiak  people  to  eat  or 
cultivate  them.  Train-oil  and  fish  pleased  them  better.  Fiitesh,  i.  30-2; 
Tclhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  11;  Ch-ewingk,  Beitr.,  323;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr., 
1.  170. 


islands  and  the  mainland.  After  a  cruise  in  Prince 
William  Sound  and  Cook  Inlet,  the  party  returned 
in  August  with  a  small  quantity  of  furs,  yet  report- 
ing a  not  unfriendly  reception,  and  bringing  twenty 
hostages  from  the  latter  place.  If  we  consider  the 
hostile  attitude  assumed  by  the  same  people  two  ^^ears 
before  toward  Zaikof,  we  must  credit  Shelikof  with 
good  management.  On  their  return  all  proceeded 
for  the  winter  to  Karluk,  where  salmon  abounded.^^ 
From  this  point  and  from  the  original  encampment 
on  Three  Saints  Bay,  detachments  of  promyshleniki 
explored  the  coast  in  all  directions  during  the  winter, 
notably  along  the  Alaska  peninsula,  learning  of  Ili- 
amna  Lake  and  of  the  different  portage  routes  to  the 
west  side. 

Despite  all  precautions  the  scurvy  broke  out  in  the 
Russian  camps  and  carried  off  numbers,  but  instead 
of  taking  advantage  of  the  weakened  condition  of  the 
Russians,  the  natives  willingly  assisted  in  obtaining 
fresh  provisions.  One  exception  to  this  good  under- 
standing occurred  on  the  island  of  Shuiak,  situated 
north  of  Afognak.  A  quantity  of  goods  had  been  in- 
trusted by  one  of  Shelikof's  agents  to  the  chief  of 
Shuiak,  to  purchase  furs  during  the  winter.  When 
asked  for  a  settlement  he  not  only  refused  but  killed 
the  messengers.  An  exjDedition  was  sent  in  the  spring 
which  succeeded  in  bringing  the  recreant  chief  to 
terms,  and  in  establishing  fortified  stations  on  Cook 
Inlet  and  Afognak. ^^ 

On  the  25th  of  February  1786  Shelikof  received  a 
letter  from  Eustrate  Delarof,  who  was  then  at  Una- 
laska,  stating  that  the  ship  Sv  Mikhail,  which  had 
been  separated  from  Shelikof's  squadron  in  a  gale, 
had  arrived  at  that  place  the  previous  May.     She 

'2  Karluk,  situated  on  the  west  coast  of  Kadiak,  is  a  settlement  upon  the 
river  of  the  same  name,  which  furnishes  a  larger  quantity  of  salmon  than  any 
other  stream  of  its  size  in  Alaska.     See  CartO(j.  Pac.  States,  MS.,  iii.  passim. 

^^  A  war  party  of  1,000  men  of  the  Chugatsches  and  Kenais  which  had  been 
summoned  by  the  Shuiak  chief,  to  attempt  the  destruction  of  Shelikof's  set- 
tlement, also  dispersed  before  it  was  fully  organized.  Tikhmencf,  Istor.  Ohos., 
i.  12,  13;  Shelikof,  Putesh.,  i.  51-3;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  vi.  185-6. 


reached  the  port  minus  one  mast  and  otherwise  dam- 
aged, and  repairs  to  the  vessel  occupied  nearly  the 
whole  summer.  When  at  last  ready  for  sea  she  was 
cast  upon  the  rocks  and  injured  to  such  an  extent  as 
to  require  additional  repairs.  Despairing  of  getting 
off  the  Sv  Mihhcdl  that  season,  Delarof  despatched 
thirteen  men  divided  into  several  detachments  as 
messengers  to  Kadiak  in  search  of  assistance.  Six  of 
them  succumbed  to  cold  and  hunger  during  a  deten- 
tion of  many  weeks  on  the  Alaska  peninsula,  and  five 
more  died  after  reaching  Kadiak.  Soon  after  this 
the  craft  arrived  at  Three  Saints,  and  the  commander, 
Assistant  Master  Olessof,  who  had  been  three  years 
making  the  voyage  from  Okhotsk  to  Kadiak,  was  de- 
posed and  the  peredovchik  Samoilof  invested  with  the 
control  of  both  vessels,  one  of  which  was  to  cruise 
northward  and  eastward  from  Kadiak  and  the  other 
westward  and  northward,  if  possible  as  far  as  Bering 

Early  in  March  Shelikof  despatched  an  exploring 
party  eastward  with  orders  to  proceed  to  Bering's 
Cape  St  Elias,  and  to  erect  a  fort  as  the  beginning 
of  a  settlement.  He  resolved  to  abandon  the  fort  on 
Cook  Inlet  as  too  far  removed  from  his  base  of  opera- 
tion, and  to  enlarge  the  fortified  station  on  Afognak 
Island,  besides  establishing  several  others. ^^  These 
and  other  arrangements  made,  Shelikof  prepared  to 
return  to  Okhotsk,  and  the  peredovchik,  Samoilof, 
formerly  a  merchant  in  Siberia,  was  appointed  to  the 
command  of  the  infant  colony.  His  instructions  de- 
manded above  all  the  extension  of  Russian  control 
and  establishments  eastward  and  south,  and  the  ex- 
clusion of  rival  traders.^^ 

^* Shelikof,  PutesJi.,  i.  57;  Pallas,  Nord.  Beitr.,  vi.  186.  See  Juvenal's 
Jour.,  MS.,  27-8. 

15  These  instructions  dated  May  4, 1786,  were  printed  in  the  original  crude 
form,  in  the  appendix  to  Tikhmeucf,  Istoricheskaia  Obosranie,  ii.  The  docu- 
ment contains  much  that  is  highly  interesting.  The  small  number  of  Russians 
assignetl  to  each  isolated  station  makes  it  evident  that  Shelikof  was  not  appre- 
hensive of  renewed  hostilities  on  the  part  of  the  natives,  and  confirms  the  suspi- 
cion that  his  previous  reports  of  their  number,  bravery,  and  fierce  disposition 


Shelikof  took  his  departure  in  May,  accompanied 
by  a  number  of  native  adults  and  children,  some  to 
be  retained  and  educated,  others  to  be  merely  im- 
pressed with  a  view  of  Russian  life  and  power.  He 
landed  at  Bolsheretsk  on  the  8th  of  August,  and 
thence  proceeded  to  Petropavlovsk,^^  and  overland  to 

were  exaggerated.  Of  113  Russians  then  in  the  new  colony,  and  50  others  ex- 
pected from  Unalaska,  he  ordered  the  following  disposition  to  be  made:  40  men 
at  the  harbor  of  Three  Saints;  11  at  the  bay  of  Ugak  (Orlova);  30  on  the  islands 
of  Shuiak  and  Afoguak;  10  or  11  at  either  Uganak,  Chiniak,  or  Aiakhtalsk;  30 
at  Karliik;  20  at  Katmak  (Katmai),  and  11  at  a  station  between  Katmala  and 
Kamuishak  Bay.  These  trading-posts  were  separated  from  each  other  by  long 
distances  of  land  and  water,  and  extended  over  hundreds  of  miles.  The 
instructions  further  specify  that  '  immediately  upon  tlie  arrival  of  reenforce- 
ments  from  Okhotsk,  stations  should  be  established  in  the  Kenai  and  Chu- 
gatsch  countries,' and  'with  all  possible  despatch  farther  and  fai'ther  along 
the  coast  of  the  American  continent,  and  in  a  southerly  direction  to  Califor- 
aia,  establishing  eveiy where  marks  of  Russian  possession.'  If  expected  reen- 
forcements  failed  to  arrive,  only  three  stations  were  to  be  maintained — at  the 
harbor,  Afognak,  and  Kai-luk.  Paragraph  7  of  the  instructions  announced 
that  Shelikof  would  take  with  him  to  Okhotsk  forty  natives — adults  and  chil- 
dren of  botli  sexes — 'some  in  satisfaction  of  their  own  desire,' and  others, 
'  prisoners  from  various  settlements. '  One  third  of  these  natives  were  to  be 
returned  by  tlie  same  ship,  after  'seeing  the  fatherland  and  observing  our 
domestic  life ; '  another  third  were  to  be  forwarded  to  the  court  of  her  imperial 
Majesty;  while  the  remainder,  consisting  chiefly  of  children,  were  to  be  edu- 
cated in  Okhotsk  or  Irkutsk  '  to  enable  them  in  the  future  to  exercise  a  civil- 
izing influence  among  their  countrymen.'  Other  paragraphs  relate  to  the 
maintenance  of  the  stiictest  discipline  among  the  Russians ;  the  employment 
of  spies  among  the  natives;  to  explorations  and  voyages  of  discovery  south- 
ward to  latitude  40°;  the  construction  of  buildings  and  fortified  block-houses^ 
the  purchase  of  articles  of  native  manufacture — garments,  utensils,  etc. ;  the 
collection  of  minerals,  ores,  and  shells  for  transmission  to  St  Petersburg;  san- 
itary i-egulations  to  prevent  scurvy;  the  collection  of  boys  from  'latitude  50° 
in  California,  northward  to  Aliaska,'to  be  educated  in  the  Russian  language; 
the  exclusion  of  other  trading  firms  in  this  the  country  then  occupied,  '  by 
peaceable  means,  if  possible;'  the  expulsion  of  worlhless  and  vicious  men  from 
the  company;  the  maintenance  of  a  school  at  Three  Saints,  and  other  business- 
details.  The  document  furnishes  strong  evidence  of  Shelikof 's  far-sightedness, 
energy,  ambition,  and  executive  ability.  After  liolding  Samoilof  responsible 
for  the  strict  observance  of  these  instructions,  the  writer  signed  himself: 
'  Grigor  Shelikof,  member  of  the  company  of  Sea-voyagers  in  the  Noi-thern 
Ocean.'  Three  supplementary  paragraphs  contain  directions  for  a  'minute 
survey  '  by  Eocharof  of  the  island  Kuiktak,  the  American  coast  from  Katmak 
to  the  gulfs  of  Kcnai  and  Chugachuik,  and  '  if  possible '  around  Kadiek  [prob- 
ably Kyak,  or  Kayes,  Island].  This  is  the  first  mention  of  the  term  Kadiek 
or  Kadiak,  subscfpiently  applied  to  the  island  Kuiktak,  and  to  this  mistake 
of  Shelikof  the  origin  of  the  present  name  may  be  traced. 

'"  When  Shelikof  was  on  the  point  of  leaving  Bolsheretsk  for  Okhotsk  he 
was  informed  that  an  English  vessel  had  arrived  at  Petropavlovsk.  The  vessel 
proved  to  Ijc  tlic  Lark,  and  belonged  to  the  East  India  Company.  From 
Peters,  the  captain,  Shelikof  purchased  a  large  amount  of  goods,  reselling 
them  to  merchants  of  Totma  and  to  agents  of  the  Panof  company  at  a  profit 
of  50  per  cent.  Capt.  Peters  brought  a  letter  from  the  directors  of  his  com- 
jiany  to  the  commander  of  Kamchatka  asking  permission  to  exchange  the 
products  of   their  respective  territories.     A  Baron  Stungel  or  Stangel,  prol> 


Okhotsk  and  Irkutsk,  where  he  arrived  in  April  1787, 
after  suffering  great  hardships  on  his  journey.  There 
he  lost  no  time  in  taking  initiatory  steps  with  the 
view  of  obtaining  for  his  company  the  exclusive  right 
to  trade  in  the  new  colony  and  other  privileges,  the 
results  of  which  belong  to  another  chapter. 

We  have  seen  how  the  Cossacks  were  enticed  from' 
the  Caspian  and  Black  seas,  drawn  over  the  Ural 
Mountains,  and  lured  onward  in  their  century-march 
through  Siberia  to  Kamchatka,  and  all  for  the  skin 
of  the  little  sable.  And  when  they  had  reached  the 
Pacific  they  were  ready  as  ever  to  brave  new  dangers 
on  the  treacherous  northern  waters,  for  the  coveted 
Siberian  quadruped  was  here  supplanted  by  the  still 
more  valuable  amphibious  otter.  As  furs  were  the 
currency  of  the  empire,  the  occupation  of  the  trapper, 
in  the  national  economy,  was  equivalent  to  that  in 
other  quarters  of  the  gold-miner,  assayer,  and  coiner 
combined.  In  those  times  all  the  valuable  skins  ob- 
tained by  the  advancing  Cossacks  were  immediately 
transported  to  Russia  over  the  routes  just  opened. 

The  custom  was  to  exact  tribute  from  all  natives 
who  were  conquered  en  j^assoM  by  the  Cossacks,  as  a 
diversion  from  the  tamer  pursuit  of  sable-hunting. 
As  early  as  1598  the  tribute  collected  in  the  district 
of  Pelymsk,  just  east  of  the  Ural  Mountains,  amounted 
to  sixty-eight  bundles  of  sables  of  forty  skins  cach.^^ 
In  1609  this  tribute  was  reduced  from  ten  to  seven 

ably  an  exile,  who  was  in  command  at  that  time,  consented  under  certain 
conditions.  Shelikof ,  who  was  well  received  on  board  of  tlio  Lark  and  '  treated 
to  various  liquors,'  describes  the  vessel  as  two-masted,  with  12  cannon,  and 
carrying  a  large  crew  consistiiig  of  Englishmen,  Hindoos,  Arabs,  and  China- 
men. Of  the  four  officers  one  was  a  Portuguese.  Pute^h.,  i.  60-4.  The  Lark 
was  subsequently  wrecked  on  Copper  Island  with  the  loss  of  all  on  board  but 
two.  The  survivors  were  forwarded  to  St  Petersburg  overland.  Viuijcs  al 
Norte,  MS.,  316.  Upon  finishing  his  business  with  Capt.  Peters,  Shelikof  at 
once  set  out  for  Irkutsk. 

"  Istoria  Sib.,  vi.  23.  In  the  same  year  Botcha  Murza,  a  Tunguse  chief  who 
had  been  made  a  prince  by  the  Russians,  presented  forty  sables  to  the  gov- 
ernment, and  forty  additional  skins  on  the  occasion  of  his  marriage,  promising 
to  repeat  the  gift  every  year.  An  oukaz  issued  the  same  year  exempted  the 
aged,  the  feeble,  and  the  sick  from  paying  tribute. 


sables  per  adult  male,  but  there  seemed  to  be  no  de- 
crease in  the  number  collected/^  Nine  years  later, 
however,  the  animal  seems  to  have  been  nearly  exter- 
minated, as  the  hoyar  Ivan  Semenovich  Kurakin 
was  instructed  to  settle  free  peasant  families  in  the 
district.  After  this  the  principal  Cossack  advance 
was  into  the  Tunguse  country.  In  the  tribute-books 
of  1620-1  the  latter  tribe  is  entered  as  tributary  at 
the  rate  of  forty-five  sables  for  every  six  adult  males. 
In  1622  nine  Tunguse  paid  as  high  as  ninety-four 
sables. ^^  Whenever  a  breach  occurred  in  the  flow  of 
sable-skins  into  Moscow  the  Cossacks  were  instructed 
to  move  on,  though  the  deficiency  was  not  always 
owing  to  exhaustion  of  the  supply.^^ 

Thus  the  authorized  fur-gatherers  advanced  from 
one  region  to  another  across  the  whole  north  of  Asia, 
followed,  and  in  some  instances  even  preceded,  by 
the  promyshleniki  or  professional  hunters.  The  lat- 
ter formed  themselves  into  organized  companies,  hunt- 
ing on  shares,  like  the  sea-faring  promyshleniki  of 
later  times,  and  like  them  they  allowed  the  business 
to  fall  gradually  into  the  hands  of  a  few  wealthy  mer- 
chants. The  customs  adoj^ted  by  these  hunters  go  far 
toward  elucidating  much  that  seems  strange  in  the 
proceedings  of  the  promyshleniki  on  gaining  a  foot- 
hold upon  the  islands  of  the  Pacific.  A  brief  descrip- 
tion will  therefore  not  be  amiss. 

The  hunting-grounds  were  generally  about  the  head*- 
waters  and  tributaries  of  the  large  rivers,  and  the 
journey  thence  was  made  in  boats.  Three  or  four 
hunters  combined  in  building  the  boat,  which  was 
covered,  and  so  served  as  shelter.     Provisions,  arms, 

'^In  that  year  the  total  tribute  amounted  to  66  bundles,  of  40  skins  each, 
and  39  sables.  In  1610  it  increased  to  75  bundles  and  12  sables.  1st.  Sib.,  vi. 

^*  1st.  Sib.,  vi.  218.  A  force  of  40  Cossacks  was  sufficient  to  collect  tribute 
and  preserve  order  among  the  Tunguse. 

''''In  1607  complaints  reached  the  tsar  that  traders  from  Pustozersk  would 
go  among  the  natives  of  the  lierezof  district  before  tribute  had  been  collected, 
making  it  difficult  to  obtain  tlie  government's  quota.  /*<.  Sib.,  vi.  35. 


bedding,  and  a  few  articles  of  winter  clothing  made  up 
the  cargo.  A  jar  of  yeast  or  sour  dough  for  the 
manufacture  of  hvass,  to  keep  down  the  scurvy, "was 
considered  of  the  highest  importance.  Material  for 
the  construction  of  sleds  and  a  few  dogs  were  also 
essential,  and  when  all  these  had  been  collected  and 
duly  stowed,  each  party  of  three  or  four  set  out  upon 
their  journey  to  a  place  previously  appointed.  As 
soon  as  the  whole  force  had  assembled  at  the  rendez- 
vous election  was  made  of  a  peredovchik,  or  foreman, 
a  man  of  experience,  and  commanding  respect,  to 
whom  all  promised  implicit  obedience.  The  peredov- 
chik then  divided  his  men  into  chunitzi,  or  parties, 
appointing  a  leader  for  each,  and  assigning  them  their 
respective  hunting-grounds.  This  division  was  always 
made;  even  if  the  artel,  or  station,  consisted  of  only 
six  men  they  must  not  all  hunt  together  on  the  same 
ground."^  Until  settled  in  winter-quarters  all  their 
belongings  were  carried  in  leather  bags.  Before  the 
first  snow  fell  a  general  hunt  was  ordered  by  the  pe- 
redovchik to  kill  deer,  elks,  and  bears  for  a  winter's 
supply  of  meat,  after  which  the  first  traps  were  set 
for  foxes,  wolves,  and  lynx.  With  the  first  snow  fall, 
before  the  rivers  were  frozen,  the  whole  party  hunted 
sables  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  general  winter- 
quarters,  with  dogs  and  nets.  The  peredovchik  and 
the  leaders  were  in  the  mean  time  engaged  in  making 
sleds  and  snow-shoes  for  their  respective  chunitzis. 
When  the  snow  was  on  the  ground  the  whole  artel 
was  assembled  at  the  winter-quarters  and  prayers  were 
held,  after  which  the  peredovchik  despatched  the 
small  parties  to  the  sable  grounds  with  final  instruc- 
tions to  the  leaders.  The  latter  preceded  their  men 
by  a  day  in  order  to  prepare  the  station  selected;  the 
same  practice  prevailed  in  moving  stations  during  the 
winter.  The  first  station  was  named  after  some  church 
in  Russia,  and  subsequent  stations  after  patron  saints 
of  individual  hunters.     The  first  sables  caught  were 

*'  0  Sobolnuie  Promyssla,  29-42. 



always  donated  to  some  church  or  saint,  and  were 
called  God's  sables.  The  instructions  of  leaders  were 
mainly  to  the  effect  that  they  should  look  well  after 
their  men,  watch  carefully  their  method  of  setting 
traps,  and  see  that  they  did  not  gorge  themselves  in 
secret  from  the  common  store  of  provisions.^^ 

During  the  height  of  the  season  stations  were  fre- 
quently changed  every  day,  for  it  was  thought  that 
prolonged  camping  at  any  one  place  would  drive  away 
the  sables.  When  the  season  closed  the  small  parties 
returned  to  head-quarters,  where  the  leaders  rendered 
their  accounts  to  the  peredovchik,  and  at  the  same 
time  reported  all  infractions  of  rules  by  the  men. 
The  accused  were  then  heard,  and  punished  by  the 
peredovchik  if  found  guilty.^^  When  all  arrange- 
ments for  returning  to  the  settlement  were  completed 
the  peredovchik  would  make  the  rounds  of  all  the  sta- 
tions to  see  that  every  trap  was  closed  or  removed,  so 
that  no  sable  could  get  into  them  during  the  summer. 

In  Alaska  the  methods  of  the  hunters  underwent 
many  changes,  owing  to  the  different  physical  features 
of  the  field  and  the  peculiarities  of  the  natives.  The 
men  engaged  for  these  expeditions  were  of  a  very 
mixed  class;  few  had  ever  seen  the  ocean,  and  many 
were  wholly  untrained  for  their  vocation.  They  were 
engaged  for  a  certain  time  and  paid  in  shares  taken 
from  one  half  of  the  proceeds  of  the  hunt,  the  other 

^^  The  instructions  contained  also  an  admonition  to  observe  certain  super- 
stitious customs,  traces  of  Avhich  could  be  found  nearly  a  century  later  among 
the  servants  of  the  Russian  American  Coinpany.  For  instance,  certain  ani- 
mals must  not  be  spoken  of  by  their  right  names  at  the  stations,  for  fear  of 
frightening  the  sables  away.  The  raven,  the  snake,  and  the  wild-cat  were 
tabooed.  They  were  called  i-espectively  the  '  upper,'  or  '  high  one,'  the  '  bad 
one, 'and  the  'jumper.'  In  the  early  times  this  rule  extended  to  quite  a  number 
of  persons,  animals,  and  even  inanimate  objects,  but  the  three  I  have  men- 
tioned survived  till  modern  times.   0  Sobolnuie  Promift^ala,  29-42. 

^^  The  promyshleniki  were  treated  much  like  children  by  their  leaders. 
Some  offenders  were  made  to  stand  on  stumps  for  a  time,  and  fast  while  their 
comrades  were  feasting,  while  others  were  fined  for  the  benefit  of  the  church. 
Thieves  were  cruelly  beaten,  and  forfeited  a  portion  of  their  uchina,  or  divi- 
dend (literally  supper),  as  it  was  held  that  their  crime  must  have  brought 
bad  luck  and  decreased  the  total  catch.   O  Sobolnuie  Promyssla,  56-7. 


half  of  the  cargo  going  to  the  outfitter  or  owner.  If 
the  crew  consisted  of  forty  men,  including  navigator 
and  peredovchik,  their  share  of  the  cargo  was  usually 
divided  into  about  forty-six  shares,  of  which  each 
member  received  one,  the  navigator  three,  the  fore- 
man two,  and  the  church  one  or  two.  In  case  of 
success  the  hunters  realized  quite  a  small  fortune,  as 
we  have  seen,  but  often  the  yield  was  so  small  as  to 
keep  the  men  in  servitude  from  indebtedness  to  their 
employer.  The  vesseP^was  provided  with  but  a  small 
stock  of  provisions,  consisting  of  a  few  hams,  a  little 
rancid  butter,  a  few  bags  of  rye  and  wheat  flour  for 
holidays,  and  a  quantity  of  dried  and  salted  salmon. 
The  main  stock  had  to  be  obtained  by  fishing  and 
hunting,  and  to  this  end  were  provided  fire-arms  and 
other  implements  serving  also  for  defence.  Since  furs 
in  this  new  region  were  obtained  chiefly  through  the 
natives,  articles  of  trade  formed  the  important  part  of 
the  cargo,  such  as  tobacco,  glass  beads,  hatchets  and 
knives  of  very  bad  quality,  tin  and  copper  vessels,  and 
cloth.  A  large  number  of  kleptsi,  or  traps,  were  also 
carried.  Thus  provided  the  vessel  sets  sail  with  hozlie 
pomoshtch — God's  help. 

Mere  trade  soon  gave  way  to  a  more  efifective 
method  of  obtaining  furs.  Natives  were  impressed 
to  hunt  for  the  Russians,  who,  as  a  rule,  found  it  both 
needless  and  dangerous  for  themselves  to  disperse  in 
small  parties  to  catch  furs.  Either  by  force  or  by 
agreement  with  chiefs  the  Aleuts  and  others  were 
obliged  to  give  hostages, generally  women  and  children, 
to  ensure  the  safety  of  their  visitors,  or  performance 
of  contract.  They  were  thereupon  given  traps  and 
sent  forth  to  hunt  for  the  season,  while  the  Russians 
lived  in  indolent  repose  at  the  village,  basking  in  the 

^* '  Their  galliots  are  constructed  at  Okhotsk  or  Nishnekamehatsk,  and 
government,  with  a  view  of  encouraging  trade,  has  ordered  the  commandants 
of  those  places  to  afford  as  much  assistance  as  possible  to  the  adventurers, 
besides  which,  the  materials  of  the  vei-y  frequently  wrecked  transport  vessels, 
though  lost  to  government,  are  found  the  chief  means  of  fitting  out  such  an 
enterprise,  and  greatly  lessen  the  expense.'  Sauer's  Geog.  and  Adron.  Exped., 


smiles  of  the  wives  and  daughters,  and  using  them 
also  as  purveyors  and  servants.  When  the  hunters 
returned  they  surrendered  traps  and  furs  in  exchange 
for  goods,  and  the  task-masters  departed  for  another 
island  to  repeat  their  operation. 

The  custom  of  interchanging  hostages  while  engaged 
in  traffic  was  carried  eastward  by  the  Russians  and 
forced  upon  the  English,  Americans,  and  Spaniards 
long  after  the  entire  submission  of  Aleuts,  Kenai, 
and  Chugatsches  had  obviated  the  necessity  of  such 
a  course  in  the  west.  Portlock  was  compelled  to  con- 
form to  the  custom  at  various  places  before  he  could 
obtain  any  trade,  but  as  a  rule  four  or  five  natives 
were  demanded  for  one  or  two  sailors  from  the  ship.^^ 
On  Cross  Sound,  Sitka  Bay,  and  Prince  of  Wales 
Island  the  hostages  were  not  always  given  in  good 
faith;  they  would  suddenly  disappear  and  hostilities 
begin.  As  soon  as  they  ascertained,  however,  that 
their  visitors  were  watchful  and  strong  enough  to  re- 
sist, they  would  resume  business. 

Meares  observes,  among  other  things  relating  to 
Russian  management,  that  wherever  the  latter  settled 
the  natives  were  forbidden  to  keep  canoes  of  a  larger 
size  than  would  carry  two  persons.  This  applied,  of 
course,  only  to  the  bidarka  region,  Kadiak,  Cook 
Inlet,  and  portions  of  Prince  William  Sound.  The 
bidars,  or  large  canoes,  were  then  as  now  very  scarce, 
being  made  of  the  largest  sea-lion  skins,  and  used 
only  for  war  or  the  removal  of  whole  families  or 
villages.  The  Russians  found  them  superior  to  their 
own  clumsy  boats  for  trading  purposes,  and  acquired 
them,  by  purchase  and  probably  often  by  seizure  under 
some  pretext,  as  fast  as  the  natives  could  build  them. 
In  their  opinion  the  savages  had  no  business  to  devote 
themselves  to  anything  but  hunting. 

A  portion  of  the  catch  was  claimed  as  tribute, 
although  the  crown  received  a  very  small  share,  often 
none.     Tribute-gathering  was  a  convenient  mantle  to 

^  Portlock'' s  Voy.,  269. 


cover  all  kinds  of  demands  on  the  natives,  and  there 
can  be  no  doubt  that  in  early  times  at  least  half  the 
trade  was  collected  in  the  form  of  tribute,  by  means 
of  force  or  threats,  while  at  the  same  time  the  author- 
ities at  home  were  being  petitioned  to  relinquish  its 
collection,  "because  it  created  discontent"  among  the 

The  tribute  collected  by  the  earlier  traders  was 
never  correctly  recorded.  The  merchants  frequently 
obtained  permission  from  the  Kamchatka  authorities 
to  dispense  with  the  services  of  Cossack  tribute- 
gatherers,  and  gradually,  as  the  abuses  perpetrated 
under  pretext  of  its  collection  came  to  the  ears  of  the 
home  government,  the  custom  was  abandoned  alto- 
gether. Subsequently  the  Russian  American  Com- 
pany obtained  a  right  to  the  services  of  the  Aleuts  on 
the  plea  that  it  should  be  in  lieu  of  tribute  formerly 
paid  to  the  government.  At  the  same  time  it  was 
ordained  that  those  natives  who  rendered  no  regular 
services  to  the  company  should  pay  a  tribute.  The 
latter  portion  of  the  programme  was,  however,  never 
carried  out.  The  Chugatsches  and  the  more  northerly 
villages  of  Kenai  never  furnished  any  hunters  for  the 
company  unless  with  some  private  end  in  view,  and 
no  tribute  paid  by  them  ever  reached  the  imperial 

Another  method  of  obtaining  furs,  outside  of  the 
regular  channels  of  trade,  was  in  furnishing  supplies  in 
times  of  periodical  famine  caused  by  the  improvidence 
of  the  simple  Aleuts.  A  little  assistance  of  this  kind 
was  always  considered  as  a  lien  upon  whatever  furs 
the  person  might  collect  during  the  following  season. 
This  pernicious  system,  unauthorized  as  it  was  by 
the  management,  survived  all  through  the  regime  of 
the  Russian  American  Company,  and  one  encounters 
traces  of  it  here  and  there  to  the  present  day. 

At  the  time  of  the  first  advance  of  Russians  along 
the  coast  in  a  south-easterly  direction  native  auxili- 


aries,  usuall}^  Aleuts,  were  taken  for  protection  as 
well  as  for  the  purpose  of  killing  sea-otters.  Soon 
the  plan  was  extended  to  taking  Aleut  hunters  to 
regions  where  trade  had  been  made  unprofitable  by 
unlimited  competition.  This  was  first  adopted  on  a 
larger  scale  by  Sbelikof  and  brought  to  perfection 
under  the  management  of  Delarof  and  Baranof  From 
a  business  point  of  view  alone  it  was  a  wise  measure, 
since  it  obviated  the  ruinous  raising  of  prices  by  sav- 
ages made  impudent  by  sudden  prosperity,  and  at  the 
same  time  placed  a  partial  check  on  the  indiscriminate 
slaughter  of  fur-bearing  animals.  Yet  it  opened  the 
door  to  abuse  and  oppression  of  the  natives  at  the 
hands  of  unscrupulous  individuals,  and  in  the  case  of 
the  docile  and  long  since  thoroughly  subdued  Aleuts  it 
led  to  something  akin  to  slaver}^  It  was  also  attended 
with  much  loss  of  life,  owing  to  ignorance,  careless- 
ness, and  foolhardiness  of  the  leaders  of  parties.  It 
certainly  must  have  been  exceedingly  annoying  to 
the  natives  of  the  coast  thus  visited  to  see  the  ani- 
mals exterminated  which  brought  to  them  the  ships  of 
foreigners  loaded  with  untold  treasures.  The  Kaljush 
hunters  could  not  fail  to  perceive  that  the  unwelcome 
rivals  from  the  west,  though  inferior  in  strength,  stat- 
ure, and  courage,  were  infinitely  superior  in  skill, 
and  indefatigable  in  pursuit  of  the  much  coveted  sea- 

It  was  but  natural  that  in  a  brief  period  the  very 
name  of  Aleut  became  hateful  to  the  Kaljush  and  Chu- 
gatsches,  who  allowed  no  opportunity  to  escape  them 
for  revenge  on  the  despised  race,  not  thinking  that 
the  poor  fellows  were  but  helpless  tools  of  the  Rus- 
sians. Numerous  massacres  attested  the  strong  feel- 
ing, but  this  by  no  means  prevented  the  Russians 
from  pursuing  a  policy  which,  to  a  certain  extent,  has 
been  justified  by  the  result.  As  the  minds  at  the  head 
of  affairs  became  more  enlightened,  measures  for  the 
protection  of  valuable  animals  were  adopted,  the  ex- 
ecution of  which  was  possible  with  the  docile  Aleut 


hunters,  while  it  would  have  been  out  of  the  question 
with  the  stubborn  and  ungovernable  Kaljush. 

As  long  as  operations  were  confined  to  Prince  Will- 
iam Sound,  with  the  inhabitants  of  which  the  Aleuts, 
and  especially  the  Kadiak  people,  had  previously  meas- 
ured their  strength  in  hostile  encounters,  the  plan 
worked  well  enough.  Subsequently,  however,  contact 
with  the  fierce  Thlinkeets  of  Comptroller  Bay,  Yaku- 
tat,  and  Ltua  inspired  the  western  intruders  with  dis- 
may, rendering  them  unfit  even  to  follow  their  peaceful 
pursuits  without  an  escort  of  four  or  five  armed  Rus- 
sians to  several  hundred  hunters.  On  several  occa- 
sions a  panic  occurred  in  hunting  parties,  caused  merely 
by  fright,  but  seriously  interfering  with  trading  opera- 
tions. Vancouver  mentions  instances  of  that  kind, 
when  Lieutenant  Puget  and  Captain  Brown  at  Yak- 
utat  Bay  successively  assisted  Purtof,  who  commanded 
a  large  party  of  Aleuts  sent  out  by  Baranof.^^ 

The  reports  of  these  occurrences  by  Purtof  and  his 
companions  corroborate  the  statements  of  Puget  and 
Brown,  but  naturally  the  former  do  not  dwell  as  much 
upon  the  assistance  received  as  upon  services  rendered. 
With  regard  to  Captain  Brown's  action,  however,  the 
Russian  report  differs  somewhat.^'^ 

Previous  to  the  arrival  of  the  Russians  a  consider- 
able interchange  of  products  was  carried  on  by  certain 
of  the  more  enterprising  tribes;  the  furs  of  one  section 
being  sold  to  the  inhabitants  of  another.  The  long- 
haired skins  of  the  wolverene  were  valued  highly  for 
trimming  by  tribes  of  the  north  who  hunted  the  rein- 
deer- and  the  parkas  or  shirts  made  from  the  skins  of  the 
diminutive  speckled  ground-squirrel  (Spermophilus)  of 
Alaska,  which  occurs  only  on  a  few  islands  of  the  coast, 
were  much  sought  by  the  inhabitants  of  nearly  all  re- 
gions where  the  little  animal  does  not  exist.  The  new- 
comers were  not  slow  to  recognize  the  advantages  to 

^Vancouver'.i  Voi/.,  iii.  233-5. 

"For  Purtof 's  report,  see  TiJchmenef,  Isto7:  Obos.,  ii.  app.  66-7. 


be  gained  by  absorbing  the  traffic.  Within  a  few 
years  it  was  taken  from  the  natives  along  the  coast  as 
far  north  as  Cook  Inlet  and  Prince  William  Sound, 
but  beyond  that  and  in  the  interior  a  far-reaching 
commerce,  including  the  coasts  of  Arctic  Asia  in  its 
ramifications,  has  existed  for  ages  and  has  never  been 
greatly  interfered  with  by  the  Russians,  who  fre- 
C|uently  found  articles  of  home  manufacture,  originally 
sold  by  traders  in  Siberia,  in  the  hands  of  the  tribes 
who  had  the  least  intercourse  with  themselves. 

Captain  Cook  indulged  in  profound  speculations 
with  regard  to  the  channels  through  which  some  of 
the  natives  he  met  with  on  the  Northwest  Coast  had 
acquired  their  evident  acquaintance  with  iron  knives 
and  other  implements,  but  this,  the  most  probable 
source,  was  unknown  to  him.  Later  navigators  found 
evidence  of  the  coast  tribes  assuming  the  role  of  mid- 
dlemen between  the  inhabitants  of  the  interior  and 
the  visitors  from  unknown  parts.  In  August  1786 
Dixon  was  informed  by  natives  on  Cook  Inlet  that 
they  had  sold  out  every  marketable  skin,  but  that 
they  would  soon  obtain  additional  supplies  from  tribes 
living  away  from  the  sea-shore. 

A  century  of  intercourse  with  the  Caucasian  races 
has  failed  to  eradicate  the  custom  of  roaming  from 
one  continent  to  another  for  the  sake  of  exchanging  a 
few  articles  of  trifling  value.  The  astuteness  dis- 
played by  these  natives  in  trade  and  barter  was  cer- 
tainly one  of  the  reasons  whicli  caused  the  Russians 
to  devise  means  of  getting  at  the  furs  without  being 
obliged  to  cope  with  their  equals  in  bartering. 

As  far  as  the  region  contained  within  the  present 
boundaries  of  Alaska  is  concerned,  the  fur-trade  to- 
ward the  end  of  the  last  century  was  beginning  to  fall 
into  regular  grooves,  which  have  never  been  essentially 
departed  from  except  in  the  case  of  the  Kaljush,  who, 
relying  on  their  constant  intercourse  with  English  and 
American  traders,  persistently  refused  to  be  reduced 


to  routine  and  system,  and  maintained  an  independent 
and  frequently  a  defiant  attitude  toward  the  Russians. 
Under  the  rule  of  the  Russian  American  Company 
the  prices  paid  to  natives  for  furs  were  equal  in  all 
parts  of  the  colonies  with  the  exception  of  Sitka  and 
the  so-called  Kaljush  sounds,  where  a  special  and 
much  higher  tariff  was  in  force. ^^ 

A  more  gradual  change  began  also  to  affect  the 
share  S3^stem  of  the  Russians,  embracing  two  kinds 
of  share-holders,  those  who  with  invested  capital  had 
a  voice  in  the  management  and  their  half  of  the  gross 
receipts,  and  another  class,  laboring  in  various  capaci- 
ties for  such  compensation  as  fell  to  their  lot  when 
the  settlements  were  made  at  stated  times  and  after 
every  other  claim  had  been  satisfied.  The  disadvan- 
tages of  this  system  were  obvious.  On  one  hand  the 
laborer  was  entirely  dependent  upon  the  agents  or 
managers  of  his  immediate  station  or  district,  who 
were  sometimes  honest,  but  far  oftener  rascals,  while 
on  the  other  hand  the  hunters  and  trappers  and  those 
in  charge  of  native  hunting-parties  had  every  induce- 
ment to  indulge  in  indiscriminate  slaughter  of  fur- 
bearing  animals  without  regard  to  consequences. 

By  the  time  Kamchatka  was  discovered  and  con- 
quered the  number  of  private  traders  had  greatly 
increased,  and  another  market  for  costly  furs  had  been 
opened  on  the  borders  of  China,  a  market  of  such  im- 

^^  The  introduction  of  a  well-defined  business  system  as  well  as  regula- 
tions to  check  the  threatened  extermination  of  fur-bearing  animals  came  only 
with  the  establisliment  of  a  monopoly,  and  this  "involved  both  time  and  in- 
trigue. The  founder  of  the  so-called  colonies  as  well  as  his  successors  in  the 
management  had  biit  one  object  in  view,  to  control  the  fur-trade  of  Russia  in 
Europe  and  Asia.  Shelikof  was  shrewd  enough  to  understand  that  in  order 
to  obtain  special  privileges  or  jprotection  from  the  government,  it  was  neces- 
sary to  make  a  display  of  some  moi-e  permanent  business  than  the  fur-trade; 
and  with  the  sole  view  of  furthering  this  end  projects  of  colonization  and 
ship-building  were  launched  in  rapid  succession,  but  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  Shelikof  himself  had  no  faith  in  these  undertakings,  for  with  his  sanc- 
tion the  convicts,  mechanics,  and  farmers  sent  from  Siberia  by  the  authorities 
were  at  once  distributed  among  the  trading  posts  and  vessels  of  the  Shelikof 
and  Golikof  Company.  Petrof,  Russ.  Am.  Co.,  MS.,  2-4. 
Hist.  Alaska.    10 


portance  that  not  only  the  carrying  of  skins  to  Hussia 
was  curtailed,  but  large  shipments  of  furs  were  made 
from  Russia  to  the  Chinese  frontier,  principally  beavers 
and  land-otters  from  Canada,  these  skins  being  carried 
almost  around  the  world  at  a  profit.^^ 

No  attempt  was  made  by  Russians  during  the 
eighteenth  century  to  send  furs  to  China  b}^  water. 
That  route  was  opened  by  English  traders  to  the 
Northwest  Coast  as  soon  as  it  became  generally  known 
that  furs  had  been  disposed  of  in  China  to  great  ad- 
vantage by  the  ships  of  Captain  Cook's  last  two  expe- 
ditions. The  sea-otter  and  sable  shipments  from  the 
Aleutian  Isles  and  Kamchatka  were  still  consigned 
to  Irkutsk,  where  a  careful  assortment  was  made. 
The  inferior  and  light-colored  sables,  the  foxes  of  the 
Aleutian  Isles,  the  second  grade  of  sea  and  land 
otter,  etc.,  were  set  aside  for  the  Chinese  market. 
Defective  skins  were  sent  to  the  annual  fair  at  Irbit, 
for  sale  among  the  Tartars,  and  only  the  very  best 
quality  was  forwarded  to  Moscow  and  Makaria,  where 
Armenians  and  Greeks  figured  among  the  ready  pur- 

The  first  large  shipment  of  sea-otters  was  brought 
to  China  by  Captain  Hanna,  who  with  a  brig  of  sixty 
tons  collected  in  six  weeks,  on  King  George  Sound, 
five  hundred  whole  sea-otter  skins,  and  a  number  of 
pieces  amounting  to  about  sixty  more.  He  sailed 
from  China  in  April  1785  and  returned  in  December, 
making  the  vo3'age  exceedingly  profitable.^^     Hanna 

^  The  following  shipments  of  this  kind  are  recorded  by  Coxe,  from  the 
Hudson  Bay  territory  to  London  and  St  Petersburg  and  thence  overland  to 
Kiakhta:  in  1775,  46,460  beavers  and  7,143  otters;  in  1776,  27,700  beavers 
and  12,080  otters;  in  1777,  27,316  beavers  and  10,703  otters.  The  skins 
brought  at  St  Petersburg  from  7  to  9  rubles  for  beavers,  and  from  6  to  10 
rubles  for  otters;  while  at  Kiakhta  the  beaver  sold  at  from  7  to  20  rubles,  and 
the  otter  from  6  to  35  rubles.  Coxe's  Bu'^s.  Disc,  337-8. 

^"The  Chinese  at  that  time  understood  the  art  of  coloring  sables  and  other 
furs  so  perfectly  that  the  deception  was  not  observable.  Consequently  they 
preferred  to  purchase  a  low-priced  and  inferior  article.  Sawr's  Geog.  and 
Astron.  Ea-peiL,  15. 

^^  Skins  of  the  first  grade  brought  .$60  each.  Hanna  had  140  of  these,  175 
of  the  second  grade,  wortli  §40:  SO  of  the  third,  worth  Sr,0;  55  of  the  fourth 
at  §15,  and  50  of  the  fifth  at  810.    The  pieces  were  also  sold  at  the  rate  of  $10 


sailed  again  on  the  same  venture  in  1786,  but  though 
he  remained  absent  until  the  following  jea.Y,  his  cargo 
did  not  bring  over  $8,000.  Two  other  vessels,  the 
Captain  Cook  and  the  Experiment,  left  Bombay  in 
January  1786,  and  after  visiting  in  both  King  George 
and  Prince  William  sounds  returned  with  604  sea- 
otters,  which  sold  for  $24,000,  an  average  of  $40  a 

La  Perouse,  who  visited  the  coast  in  the  same  year, 
forwarded  an  extensive  report  to  his  government  con- 
cerning the  fur-trade  of  the  Northwest  Coast.  He 
states  that  during  a  period  not  exceeding  ten  days  he 
purchased  a  thousand  skins  of  sea-otters  at  Port  des 
Francais,  or  Ltua  Bay;  but  only  few  of  them  were 
entire,  the  greater  part  consisting  of  made-up  gar- 
ments, robes,  and  pieces  more  or  less  ragged  and 
filthy.  He  thought,  however,  that  perfect  skins  could 
easily  be  obtained  if  the  French  government  should 
conclude  to  favor  a  regular  traffic  of  its  subjects  with 
that  region.  La  Perouse  entertained  some  doubts  as 
to  whether  the  French  would  be  able  to  compete  prof- 
itably with  the  Russians  and  Spaniards  already  in  the 
field,  though  he  declared  that  there  was  an  interval 
of  coast  between  the  southern  limits  of  the  Russian 
and  the  northern  line  of  Spanish  operations  which 
would  not  be  closed  for  several  centuries,  and  was  conse- 
quently open  to  the  enterprise  of  any  nation.  ^^  Among 
other  suggestions  he  recommended  that  only  vessels 
of  500  or  600  tons  should  be  employed,  and  that  the 
principal  article  of  trade  should  be  bar-iron,  cut  into 
lengths  of  three  or  four  inches.  The  value  of  the 
3,231  pieces  of  sea-otter  skin  collected  at  Port  des 
Frangais  is  estimated  in  the  report  at  41,063  Spanish 

per  whole  skin.  Hanna  realized  $20,000  out  of  this  short  cruise.  Dixon's 
Voy.,  315-22. 

^'^La  Perouse,  Voy.,  iv.  162-72. 

"A  peculiarly  French  idea  is  advanced  by  La  Perouse  in  a  note  tu  Ids 
report  on  the  fur-trade  of  the  north-west.  He  and  his  officers  refusctl  to 
derive  any  profit  from  the  experimental  mercantile  transactions  durin -■  the 
expedition.    It  was  settled  that  such  sums  as  were  realized  from  tlif  s.^:<!  of 


After  duly  weighing  the  question  in  all  its  aspects 
the  French  commander  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
it  would  not  be  advisable  to  establish  at  once  a  French 
factory  at  Port  des  Frangais,  but  to  encourage  and 
subsidize  three  private  expeditions  from  some  French 
seaport,  to  sail  at  intervals  of  two  years. 

From  Dixon  we  learn  that  La  Perouse's  expecta- 
tions, as  far  as  the  value  of  his  skins  was  concerned, 
were  not  realized.  He  reports  that  the  French  ships 
Astrolabe  and  Boussole  brought  to  Canton  about  600 
sea-otters  of  poor  quality,  which  they  disposed  of  for 

In  January  1788  the  furs  collected  by  Dixon  and 
Portlock  in  the  King  George  and  Queen  Charlotte  were 
sold  as  follows :  The  bulk  of  the  cargo,  consisting  of 
2,552  sea-otters,  434  pups,  and  34  foxes,  sold  for 
$50,000,  and  at  private  sale  1,080  sea-otter  tails 
brought  $2,160,  and  110  fur-seals  $550.  According 
to  Berg  the  number  of  sea-otters  shipped  from  the 
Northwest  Coast  to  Canton  previous  to  January  1, 
1788,  was  6,643,  which  sold  at  something  over  $200,000 
in  the  aggregate. 

After  this  shipments  increased  rapidly  with  the 
larger  number  of  vessels  engaging  in  this  trade,  as  I 
have  shown  in  m}^  History  of  the  Northwest  Coast. ^^ 
A  large  proportion  of  them  were  English,  though  they 
labored  under  many  disadvantages,  and  as  the  Eng- 
lish captains  who  came  to  Canton  were  not  allowed 

the  skins  in  China  should  be  distributed  among  the  crew.  The  commander 
ingeniously  reasons  that  the  share  of  each  sailor  will  be  sufficient  to  enable 
the  whole  crew  to  get  married  on  their  return  and  to  raise  families  in  com- 
fortable circumstances,  who,  'in  course  of  time,  will  be  of  the  greatest  benefit 
to  the  navy.'  LaPirouse,  Voy.,  iv.  167. 

^* Dixon's  Voy.,  315-22.  In  the  same  place  the  result  of  the  Bengal  Fur 
Society's  experiment  with  the  Nootka,  Capt.  Meares,  is  given  as  follows:  267 
sea-otters,  97  pieces  and  tails,  48  land-otters,  and  41  beavers  and  martens  were 
sold  at  Macao  for  $9,692.  Fifty  prime  sea-otters  sold  at  Canton  for  $91 
each,  bringing  $4,550.  Nearly  the  whole  cargo  had  been  obtained  at  Prince 
William  Sound.  About  the  same  time  the  cargo  of  the  Imperial  Eagle,  Capt. 
Barclay,  obtained  chiefly  from  Vancouver  Island,  sold  for  $30,000.  See  Hist. 
Northwest  Coast,  vol.  i.  353,  this  series. 

3*  In  1792  there  were  at  least  28  vessels  on  the  coast,  more  than  half  of 
them  engaged  in  fur-trade.  Hist.  Northwest  Coast,  i.  258  et  seq.,  this  series. 


to  trade  in  their  own  or  their  owners'  name,  but  were 
obhged  to  transact  their  business  through  the  agents 
of  the  EngHsh  East  India  Company,  they  did  not  take 
very  kindly  to  the  trade.  The  merchants  of  other 
nations  held  the  advantage  to  the  extent  that,  even  if 
forced  to  dispose  of  their  furs  at  low  prices,  they  could 
realize  one  hundred  per  cent  profit  on  the  Chinese 
goods  they  brought  home,  while  the  English,  on  ac- 
count of  the  privileges  granted  the  East  India  Com- 
pany, could  not  carry  such  goods  to  England.  The 
British  merchants,  however,  knew  how  to  evade  these 
regulations  by  sending  to  Canton,  where  the  ships  of 
all  nations  were  free  to  come,  vessels  under  the  flags 
of  Austria,  Hamburg,  Bremen,  and  others.  Thus 
Captain  Barclay,  or  Berkeley,  who  sailed  from  Ostend 
in  the  Imperial  Eagle  under  the  Austrian  flag,  was  an 

On  the  other  hand,  Russian  influence  was  contin- 
ually at  work  on  the  Chinese  frontier  and  even  at 
Peking,  to  counteract  the  influx  of  furs  by  water  into 
the  Celestial  empire.  When  Marchand  arrived  at 
Macao  from  the  Northwest  Coast  he  found  a  tempo- 
rary interdict  on  the  traffic.^^  This  benefited  the 
Kussian  only  to  a  certain  extent,  for  new  hunting- 
grounds  were  discovered  by  the  now  roused  traders, 
and  the  immense  influx  of  fur-seal  skins  from  the 
Falkland  Islands,  Terra  del  Fuego,  New  Georgia, 
South  Shetland,  and  the  coast  of  Chile  to  China 
caused  a  general  depreciation  in  this  article  toward 
the  end  of  the  last  century.^'' 

The,  jealousy  of  foreign  visitors  on  the  part  of 
Russians  was  but  natural  in  view  of  the  mischief  they 
created.     Along   the  whole  coast  from   Cook  Inlet 

'^  When  the  Solide  arrived  at  Macao,  Marchand  was  much  disappointed  on 
learning  that  strict  orders  had  been  issued  from  Peking  to  purchase  no  more 
furs  from  the  north-west  coast  of  America.  This  compelled  him  to  take  what 
furs  he  had  to  Europe.  Marchand,  Voy.,  ii.  368-9. 

*'  Three  and  a  half  millions  of  skins  were  taken  from  Masa  Fuero  to  Can- 
ton between  1793  and  1807.  DalVs  Alaska,  492. 


down  to  Sitka  and  Queen  Charlotte  Sound,  when- 
ever Enghsh  and  subsequently  Avierican  competition 
entered  the  field,  the  prices  of  sea-otter  skins  experi- 
enced a  steady  rise  till  the  temptation  to  kill  the  ani- 
mal indiscriminately  became  so  great  as  to  overcome 
what  little  idea  the  natives  had  of  husbanding  their 
resources.  On  the  other  hand  the  most  prolific  sea- 
otter  grounds,  the  southern  end  of  the  Alaska  penin- 
sula and  the  Aleutian  Islands,  exempt  from  the  visits 
of  mercantile  rovers,  have  continued  to  yield  their 
precious  furs  to  the  present  day. 

These  foreigners  had  an  additional  variety  of  goods 
with  which  to  tempt  the  untutored  son  of  the  wilder- 
ness, and  were  not  scrupulous  about  selling  even  de- 
structive weapons.  The  demand  for  certain  articles 
of  trade  by  the  natives,  especially  among  the  Thlin- 
keets,  was  subject  to  continuous  changes.  When 
Marchand  arrived  in  Norfolk  Sound  he  found  the 
savages  disposed  to  drive  hard  bargains,  and  skins 
could  not  be  obtained  for  trifles.  Tin  and  copper  ves- 
sels and  cooking  utensils  were  in  request,  as  well  as 
lances  and  sabres,  but  prime  sea-otters  could  be  pur- 
chased only  with  European  clothing  of  good  quality, 
and  Marchand  was  obliged  to  sacrifice  all  his  extra 
supplies  of  clothing  for  the  crew.  The  natives  seemed 
at  that  time,  1791,  to  have  plenty  of  European  goods, 
mostly  of  English  manufacture.  Favorite  articles 
were  toes  of  iron,  three  or  four  inches  in  length,  and 
light-blue  beads.  Two  Massachusetts  coins  were 
worn  by  a  young  Indian  as  ear-rings.  They  were 
nearly  all  dressed  in  European  clothing  and  familiar 
with  fire-arms.  Hammers,  saws,  and  axes  they  valued 
but  little.=^' 

The  rules  with  regard  to  traffic  on  individual  account 
on  board  of  these  independent  traders  were  quite  as 

'"In  10  days  Marchand  obtained  in  trade  100  sea-otters  of  prime -quality, 
mostly  fresh;  250  young  sea-otters,  Tght  colored;  36  whole  bear-skins,  and 
13  half  skins;  37  fur-seals;  00  beavers;  a  sack  of  squirrel-skins  and  sea-otter 
tails;  a  marmot  robe,  and  a  robe  of  marmot  and  bear.  Marchand,  Voy.,  ii. 


stringent  as  those  subsequently  enforced  by  the  Rus- 
sian American  company.  Among  the  instructions 
furnished  Captain  Meares  by  the  merchant  proprie- 
tors we  find  the  following:  "As  every  person  on  board 
you  is  bound  by  the  articles  of  agreement  not  to  trade 
even  for  the  most  trifling  articles,  we  expect  the  full- 
est compliance  with  this  condition,  and  we  shall  most 
assuredly  avail  ourselves  of  the  penalty  a  breach  of 
it  will  incur.  But  as  notwithstanding,  the  seamen 
may  have  laid  in  iron  and  other  articles  for  trade, 
thinking  to  escape  your  notice  and  vigilance,  we  direct 
that,  at  a  proper  time,  before  you  make  the  land  of 
America,  you  search  the  vessel  carefully,  and  take 
into  your  possession  every  article  that  can  serve  for 
trade,  allowing  the  owner  its  full  value.  "^^ 

A  few  years  suflficed  to  transform  the  naturally 
shrewd  and  overbearing  Thlinkleets  into  the  most 
exacting  and  unscrupulous  traders.  Prices  rose  to 
such  an  extent  that  no  profit  could  be  made  except 
by  deceiving  them  as  to  the  value  of  the  goods  given 
in  barter.  Some  of  the  less  scrupulous  captains  en- 
gaged in  this  traflftc  even  resorted  to  violence  and 
downright  robbery  in  order  to  make  a  showing. 
Guns,  of  course,  brought  high  prices,  but  in  many 
instances,  where  the  trader  intended  to  make  but  a 
brief  stay,  a  worthless  article  was  palmed  off  upon 
the  native,  who,  in  his  turn,  sought  to  retaliate  by 
imposing  upon  or  stealing  from  the  next  trader.^*' 

Nor  did  the  foreigners  hesitate  to  commit  brutali- 
ties when  it  suited  their  interest  or  passion,  not- 
withstanding Meares'  prating  about  "humane  British 
commerce."  The  English  captain  certainly  had  noth- 
ing to  boast  of  so  far  as  his  own  conduct  was  concerned 
in  the  way  of  morality,  honesty,  and  humanity.  Cer- 
tain subjects  of  Spain  and  Russia  were  exceedingly 

^*  Meares,  Voy.,  app. 

*"  One  of  the  natives  of  Tchinkitan^  (Sitka)  complained  to  Marchand  of  a 
gnn  he  had  purchased  of  an  English  captain  and  broken  in  anger  because  it 
would  'only  go  crick,  but  never  poohoo!'  Marchand' n  Voy.,  ii.  69.  Mar- 
chand and  Rocquefeuille  both  claim  that  the  natives  of  the  Northwest  Coast 
prefer  French  guns  to  any  other. 


cruel  to  the  natives  of  America,  but  for  innate  wick- 
edness and  cold-blooded  barbarities  in  the  treatment 
of  savage  or  half-civilized  nations  no  people  on  earth 
during  the  past  century  have  excelled  men  of  Anglo- 
Saxon  origin.  Such  was  the  conduct  of  the  critical 
Meares  toward  the  Chugatsches  that  they  would  prob- 
ably have  killed  him  but  for  the  timely  warning  of 
a  young  woman  whom  he  had  "purchased  for  the 

Instances  of  difficulties  arising  between  English 
traders  and  natives  of  Prince  William  Sound  are  too 
numerous  to  uiention  in  detail  in  this  place,  but  it  is 
certain  that  as  soon  as  the  former  withdrew  and  the 
Russians  were  enabled  to  manage  affairs  in  their  own 
way,  a  peaceful  and  regular  traffic  was  carried  on. 
These  captains  were  too  ready  to  attribute  cruelty  to 
their  rivals,  and  at  times  on  mistaken  grounds. 

Captain  Douglas,  who  visited  Cook  Inlet  in  the 
Iphigenia,  observed  what  he  called  "tickets  or  pass- 
ports for  good  usage"  in  the  hands  of  the  natives. 
Meares  offers  an  explanation  of  this  incident,  saying 
that  "these  tickets  are  purchased  by  the  Indians  from 
the  Russian  traders  at  very  dear  rates,  under  a  pre- 
tence that  they  will  secure  them  from  ill-treatment 
of  any  strangers  who  may  visit  the  coast ;  and  as  they 
take  care  to  exercise  great  cruelty  upon  such  of  the 
natives  as  are  not  provided  with  these  instruments  of 
safety,  the  poor  people  are  only  too  happy  to  purchase 
them  on  any  terms."  Meares  then  adds  with  charm- 
ing self-complacency:  "Such  is  the  degrading  system 
of  the  Russian  trade  in  these  parts;  and  forms  a 
striking  contrast  to  the  liberal  and  humane  spirit  of 
British  commerce."*^  It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  say 
that  these  papers  were  receipts  for  tribute  paid  by 
these  natives,  who  had  for  several  years  been  consid- 
sidered  and  declared  subjects  of  the  ruler  of  all  the 

*^Meares'  Voy.,  ii.  129,  ed.  1791. 

*^An  explanation  of  the  bitterness  displayed  in  Captain  Meanes'  utterance 


The  cause  for  these  insinuations  must  be  looked  for 
m  the  greater  success  of  the  Muscovites,  who  could 
be  met  with  everywhere,  and  as  they  did  not  pur- 
chase the  skins,  but  had  the  animals  killed  by  natives 
in  their  service,  competition  w^as  out  of  the  question. 
At  Prince  William  Sound  Portlock  discovered  that 
the  natives  did  not  like  the  goods  he  had  to  offer; 
only  when  he  obtained  others  from  Captain  Meares 
did  trade  improve.  The  English  traders  frequently 
complained  in  their  journals  of  the  Russians  as  having 
absorbed  the  whole  traffic,  j^et  Portlock  himself  ac- 
knowledges that  during  the  summer  of  1787  he  sent 
his  long-boat  repeatedly  to  Cook  Inlet,  and  that  each 
time  the  party  met  with  moderate  success  and  friendly 
treatment  on  the  part  of  Russians  and  natives  in  their 

Vancouver,  who  as  far  as  the  Russians  are  con- 
cerned may  be  accepted  as  an  impartial  observer, 
expresses  the  opinion  that  "the  Russians  were  more 
likely  than  any  other  nation  to  succeed  in  procur- 
ing furs  and  other  valuable  commodities  from  those 
shores."  He  based  his  opinion  partly  upon  informa- 
tion received  from  Ismailof  at  Unalaska,  but  prin- 
cipally upon  his  own  observations  on  the  general 
conduct  of  the  Russians  toward  the  natives  in  the 
several  localties  where  he  found  the  latter  under  Rus- 
sian control  and  direction.  The  English  explorer 
reasons  as  follows:  "■  Had  the  natives  about  the  Rus- 
sian establishments  in  Cook's  Inlet  and  Prince  Will- 
iam's sound  been  oppressed,  dealt  hardly  by,  or  treated 
by  the  Russians  as  a  conquered  people,  some  uneasi- 
ness among  them  would  have  been  perceived,  some 
desire  for  emancipation  would  have  been  discovered; 
but  no  such  disposition  appeared — they  seemed  to  be 

on  the  subject  of  Russian  traders  can  be  found  in  a  passage  of  his  journal  in 
which  he  complains  that  wherever  he  went  in  the  Nootka,  from  Unalaska  to 
the  head  of  Cook  Inlet,  he  found  that  the  Russians  already  monopolized  the 
trade,  and  the  natives  had  nothing  left  to  ofi'er  in  exchange  for  English  goods. 
A  boat  sent  up  the  Inlet  was  constantly  watched  by  two  Russian  bidai's. 
Meares'  Voi/.,  xi. 

«  PortlocFs  Voy.,  242-3. 


held  in  no  restraint,  nor  did  they  seem  to  wish,  on 
any  occasion  whatever,  to  elude  the  vigilance  of  their 
directors."  The  Indians  beyond  Cross  Sound  were 
less  tractable  and  the  Russians  evidently  became  sat- 
isfied to  remain  to  the  westward  of  that  region.** 

Notwithstanding  all  the  abuses  to  which  the  Aleuts 
had  to  submit  at  the  hands  of  the  early  traders  and 
the  Russian  company,  it  is  safe  to  assume  that  a  peo- 
ple which  has  absolutely  no  other  resource  to  fall  back 
upon  would  have  long  since  been  blotted  out  of  exist- 
ence with  the  extermination  of  the  sea-otter,  had  they 
been  exposed  to  the  effects  of  reckless  and  unscrupu- 
lous competition  like  their  more  savage  and  powerful 
brethren  in  the  east.  As  it  is,  they  are  indebted  to 
former  oppression  for  their  very  existence  at  the  pres- 
ent day. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  in  their  hands  alone 
would  the  wealth  of  the  coast  region  be  husbanded, 
for  their  interests  now  began  to  demand  an  economic 
management,  and  their  influence  by  far  exceeded  that 
of  any  other  nation  with  whom  the  natives  had  come 
in  contact.  Long  before  the  universal  sway  of  the 
Russian  American  Company  had  been  introduced  we 
find  unmistakable  signs  of  this  predilection  in  favor  of 
those  among  all  their  visitors  who  apparently  treated 
them  with  the  greatest  harshness  while  driving  the 
hardest  bargains.  The  explanation  lies  in  the  fact 
that  the  Russians  were  not  in  reality  as  cruel  as 
the  others,  and,  above  all,  that  they  assimilated  more 
closely  with  the  aborigines  than  did  other  traders. 
At  all  outlying  stations  they  lived  together  with  and 
in  the  manner  of  the  natives,  taking  quite  naturally 
to  filth,  privations,  and  hardships,  and  on  the  other 
hand  dividing  with  their  savage  friends  all  the  little 

**  Vancojiver's  Voy.,  iii.  500.  Portlock,  some  years  earlier,  claimed  that 
the  natives  informed  him  they  had  recently  had  a  fight  with  the  Russians  in 
•which  the  latter  were  beaten ;  and  also  that  he  was  requested  to  assist  the 
natives  against  the  Russians,  but  refused.  Portlock's  Voy.,  115-22.  Juvenal'a 
Jour.,  MS.,  30  et  seq. 


comforts  of  rude  civilization  which  by  chance  fell  to 
their  lot. 

Cook  and  Vancouver  expressed  their  astonishment 
at  the  miserable  circumstances  in  which  they  found 
the  Russian  promyshleniki,  and  both  navigators  agree 
as  to  the  amicable  and  even  affectionate  relations  ex- 
isting between  the  natives  of  the  far  north-west  of  this 
continent  and  their  first  Caucasian  visitors  from  the 
eastern  north.  Captains  Portlock  and  Dixon  even 
complained  of  this  good  understanding  as  an  injury 
to  the  interests  of  others  with  equal  rights  to  the 
advantages  of  traffic  with  the  savages.  The  traffic 
then  carried  on  throughout  that  region  is  scarcely 
worthy  of  the  name  of  trade;  it  was  a  struggle  to 
seize  upon  the  largest  quantity  of  the  most  valuable 
furs  in  the  shortest  time  and  at  the  least  expense, 
without  regard  for  consequences. 

When  Portlock  and  Dixon  visited  Cook  Inlet  and 
Prince  William  Sound  in  1786  the  trade  in  those 
localities  seemed  to  be  already  on  the  decline.  In  the 
former  place  a  few  days  were  sufficient  to  drain  the 
country  of  marketable  furs. 

How  much  the  fur-trade  had  deteriorated  on  Cook 
Inlet  at  the  beginning  of  the  last  decade  of  the  eigh- 
teenth century  is  made  evident  by  such  reports  of 
managers  as  have  been  preserved.  The  total  catch 
for  several  years,  during  which  time  two  ships  well 
manned  and  hundreds  of  natives  were  employed,  did 
not  exceed  500  sea-otters  and  a  comparatively  small 
number  of  other  furs.  This  was  certainly  a  great 
falling-off,  but  it  may  be  partly  ascribed  to  the  wran- 
gling of  rival  companies  whose  retainers  used  every 
means  to  interfere  with  each  other.  Large  quantities 
of  furs  were  destroyed,  houses  and  boats  were  broken 
up,  and  blood  was  sometimes  shed.  The  decline  of 
trade  during  this  period  was  not  arrested  till  the 
country  had  been  for  years  subjected  to  the  arbitrary 
rule  of  the  Russian  American  Company,  though  of 


course  the  fur  business  never  recovered  its  former 

Traces  of  populous  settlements  abound  on  the  shores 
of  the  inlet,  and  it  is  evident  that  the  numerous  viL 
lages  were  abandoned  to  desolation  at  about  the  same 
time.  The  age  of  trees  now  growing  over  former 
dwellings  enables  the  observer  to  fix  the  date  of  de- 
population within  a  few  yesLYS,  long  before  any  of  the 
epidemics  which  subsequently  swept  the  country. 

With  the  unrestrained  introduction  of  fire-arms 
along  the  coast  southward  from  Prince  William  Sound 
the  sea-otters  were  doomed  to  gradual  extermination 
throughout  that  region,  though  the  country  suffered 
no  less  from  imported  Aleuts,  who  far  surpassed  the 
native  sea-otter  hunters  in  skill,  and  had  no  interest 
in  husbanding  production.  Long  before  American 
traders  took  a  prominent  part  in  these  operations  the 
golden  days  of  the  sea-otter  traffic  had  passed  away. 

In  1792  Martin  Sauer  predicted  that  in  fifteen 
years  from  that  time  the  sea-otter  would  no  longer 
exist  in  the  waters  of  north-western  America,  and  he 
had  not  seen  the  devastation  on  the  coast  south  of 
Yakutat.  The  organization  of  the  Russian  American 
Company  alone  prevented  the  fulfilment  of  his  proph- 
ecy as"  far  as  concerns  the  section  which  came  under 
his  observation. 

This  state  of  affairs  the  traders  had  not  failed  to 
reveal  to  the  government  long  before  this,  coupled 
with  no  little  complaint  and  exaggeration.  Officials 
in  Siberia  aided  in  the  outcry,  and  the  empress  was 
actually  moved  to  order  war  vessels  to  the  coast, 
but  various  circumstances  interfered  with  their  de- 
parture.*^   Nevertheless,  from  the  rivalry  of  English 

^^Shelikof  complained  that  'the  advantages  which  rightfully  belong  to 
the  subjects  of  Russia  alone  are  converted  to  the  benefit  of  other  nations  who 
have  no  claim  upon  the  country  and  no  right  to  the  products  of  its  waters.' 
Lieutenant-general  Ivan  Bartholomcievich  Jacobi,  who  then  filled  the  office 
of  governor  general  of  Irkutsk  and  Kolivansk,  reported  to  the  empress 
that  it  was  necessary  to  protect  without  delay  the  Russian  possessions  on  the 
coast  of  America  with  armed  vessels,  in  order  to  prevent  foreigners  from 
interfering  with  the  Russian  fur-trade.     In  reply  Catherine  ordered  five  war- 


and  American  traders,  the  Shelikof  and  Golikof  Com- 
pany does  not  appear  to  have  suffered  to  any  great 
extent,  if  we  may  judge  from  a  hst  of  cargoes  im- 
ported by  that  firm  during  a  term  of  nine  years. 
Their  vessels  during  the  time  numbered  six;  one,  the 
Trehh  Sviatiteli,  making  two  trips.  The  total  value 
of  these  shipments  between  the  years  1788  and  1797 
was  1,500,000  roubles — equal  then  to  three  times  the 
amount  at  the  present  day.^^ 

This  result  was  due  partly  to  more  wide-spread 
and  thorough  operations  than  hitherto  practised,  and 
partly  to  the  compensation  offered  by  a  varied  assort- 
ment of  furs.  Thus,  while  the  most  valuable  fur- 
bearing  animal,  the  sea-otters,  were  becoming  scarce 
in  the  gulf  of  Kenai,  large  quantities  of  beavers, 
martens,  and  foxes  were  obtained  there. 

The  distribution  of  fur-bearing  animals  during  the 
last  century  was  of  course  very  much  the  same  as 
now,  with  the  exception  that  foxes  of  all  kinds  came 
almost  exclusively  from  the  islands.  The  stone  foxes 
— blue,  white,  and  gray — were  most  numerous  on  the 
western  islands  of  the  Aleutian  chain  and  on  the  Pri- 
bylof  group.  Black  and  silver-gray  foxes,  then  very 
valuable,  were  first  obtained  from  Unalaska  by  the 
Shilof  and  Lapin  Company  and  at  once  brought  into 
fashion  at  St  Petersburg  by  means  of  a  judicious  pres- 
entation to  the  empress.  Shipments  of  martens  and 
minks  from  a  few  localities  on  the  mainland  were  in- 
significant, and  the  same  may  be  said  of  bears  and 
wolverenes.  The  sea-otter's  range  was  not  much 
more  extended  than  at  present;  but  on  the  south- 
eastern coast  they  were  ten  times  more  numerous 
than   now.     They   were   never  found   north   of  the 

vessels  to  be  fitted  out  to  sail  in  1788,  under  command  of  Captain  Mulovskoi, 
■with  the  rank  of  brigadier.  The  war  with  Sweden  probably  interfered  with 
this  expedition.  Berg,  Khronol.  1st.,  158.  It  must  be  remembered,  however, 
that  the  Billings  expedition  was  under  way  at  that  time. 

^^The  details  are  given  by  Bergh  as  follows :  In  1786  the  Sviatiteli  brought 
furs  valued  at  56,U0O  rubles;  in  1789  the  Sviatiteli,  300,000;  in  1792  the 
Mikhail,  376,000;  in  1793  the  Sv  Simeon,  128,000;  in  1795  the  Phoenix, 
321,138;  in  1795  the  Alexandr,  276,550;  in  1796  the  Orel,  21,912;  total  rbls., 
1,479,600.  Khronol.  ht.,  169. 


Aleutian  isles    and   the   southern    extremity  of  the 
Alaska  peninsula. 

The  fur-seal  frequented  the  same  breeding-grounds 
as  now  and  many  were  killed  on  the  Aleutian  and  Com- 
mander islands  while  on  their  annual  migration  to  and 
from  the  rookeries.  The  value  of  the  skins  was  small 
and  the  market  easily  overstocked,  often  necessitating 
the  destruction  of  those  on  hand.  Beavers  and  land- 
otters  were  obtained  only  in  Cook  Inlet,  as  the  vast 
basin  of  the  Yukon  had  not  then  been  tapped.  The 
skins  of  this  class  for  the  overland  trade  with  China, 
as  has  been  stated,  were  purchased  in  England  of  the 
Hudson's  Bay  Company,  and  carried  nearly  around 
the  globe.  Black  bears  were  occasionally  purchased, 
but  rarely  appeared  in  the  market,  being  considered 
as  most  suitable  presents  to  officials  and  persons  of 
high  rank  whose  good-will  might  serve  the  interest 
of  individual  traders  or  companies.  Lynx  and  marmot 
skins  found  only  a  local  demand  in  the  form  of  gar- 
ments and  trimmings. 




Feench  Interest  in  the  North-west — La  P:ierouse's  Examination — 
Discovery  of  Port  des  Fran^ais— A  Disastrous  Survey — English 
Visitors— Meares  is  Caught  in  Prince  William  Sound — Terrible 
Struggles  with  the  Scurvy — Portlock  and  Dixon  Come  to  the 
Rescue — Their  Two  Years  of  Trading  and  Exploring — IsmaTlof 


OROUS  Chief— Yakutat  Bay  Explored— Traces  of  Foreign  Visitors 
Jealously  Suppressed — Spain  Resolves  to  Assert  Herself — Mar- 
tinez AND  Haro's  Tour  of  Investigation — Fidalgo,  Marchand,  and 
CaamaSo— Vancouver's  Expedition. 

The  activity  displaj^ed  by  different  nationalities  in 
the  exploration  of  the  Northwest  Coast,  together 
with  allurements  of  trade  and  of  the  interoceanic 
problem,  called  to  this  region  also  the  attention  of  the 
French  government;  and  when  in  August  1785  La 
P^rouse  was  despatched  from  Brest  with  two  frigates, 
the  Astrolabe  and  Boussole,  the  latter  commanded  by 
De  Langle,  on  a  scientific  exploring  tour  round  the 
world,  he  received  instructions  to  extend  it  to  the 
farthest  north-west,  and  report  also  on  trade  pros- 
pects. After  a  tedious  voyage  round  Cape  Horn,  the 
coast  of  Alaska  was  sighted  on  the  23d  of  June  1786 
near  latitude  60°,  where  the  gigantic  outline  of  Mount 
St  Elias  rose  above  the  clouds.  The  impression  made 
upon  the  natives  of  sunny  France  by  the  gloomy 
aspect  of  this  coast  was  not  more  favorable  than  that 
conceived  by  the  earlier  Spanish  and  English  visitors. 
The  contrast  was  too  great  between  the  palm-groves 
and   taro-fields   of  Hawaii  so  lately   witnessed,  and 



these  snowy  mountains  of  this  northern  mainland 
with  their  thin  blackish  fringe  of  sombre  spruce- 
forest.  At  any  rate,  contrary  to  his  instructions, 
which  were  to  explore  the  Aleutian  Islands,  La  Pe- 
rouse  with  wisdom  shaped  his  course  south-eastward 
along  the  coast.^ 

For  some  time  no  landing  could  be  effected,  the 
vessels  not  approaching  near  enough  to  the  shore 
to  distinguish  bays  and  headlands.  In  two  instances 
boats  were  lowered  to  reconnoitre,  but  the  reports  of 
officers  in  charge  were  not  favorable.  The  wide  open- 
ing of  Yakutat  or  Bering  Bay  was  thus  passed  un- 
awares, but  a  little  to  the  southward  La  Perouse 
observed  what  he  considered  certain  indications  of  the 
discharge  of  a  large  river  into  the  sea."^ 

On  the  2d  of  August  an  inlet  was  sighted  a  short 
distance  below  Cape  Fairweather,  and  on  the  following 
day  the  two  frigates  succeeded  in  gaining  an  anchor- 
age. The  navigator  felt  exultant  over  this  discovery 
of  a  new  harbor,  and  expressed  himself  in  his  journal 
to  the  effect  "that  if  the  French  government  had  en- 
tertained ideas  of  establishing  factories  in  this  part 
of  the  American  coast,  no  other  nation  could  pretend 
to  the  smallest  right  of  opposing  the  project."^    The 

^Indeed  the  illustrious  French  navigator  had  deviated  from  his  instruc- 
tions ever  since  leaving  Madeira.  He  made  the  northern  coast  in  the  month 
designated,  but  a  year  earlier  than  had  been  contemplated,  having  deferred 
his  explorations  in  the  south  Pacific.  The  instructions  prescribed,  that  he 
should  'particularly  endeavor  to  explore  those  parts  which  have  not  been 
examined  by  Captain  Cook,  and  of  which  the  relations  of  Russian  and  Spanish 
navigators  have  given  no  idea.  He  will  observe  whether  in  those  parts  not 
yet  known  some  river  may  not  be  found,  some  confined  gulf,  which  may,  by 
means  of  the  interior  lakes,  open  a  communication  with  some  part  of  Hudson 
Bay.  He  will  push  his  inquiries  to  Behring's  Bay  and  to  Mount  St  Elias 
and  will  inspect  the  ports  Bucarelli  and  Los  Remedios.  Prince  William  Land 
and  Cook  river  having  been  sufficiently  explored,  he  will,  after  making  Mount 
St  Elias,  steer  a  course  for  the  Shumagiu  Islands,  near  the  peninsula  of  Alaska. 
He  will  afterward  examine  the  Aleutian  Islands, '  etc.  La  Pirouse,  Voy. ,  i. 

^  One  indentation  of  the  coast  was  named  De  Monti  Bay;  and  La  P^rouse'a 
French  edition  asserts  that  this  was  Bering  Bay  with  the  anchorage  of  Port 
Mulgrave  named  by  Dixon  in  the  following  year.  Dixon's  position  of  Port 
Mulgrave  was  lat.  59°  33'  and  long.  140°  w.  of  Greenwich,  while  La  Perouse 
located  the  bay  De  Monti  at  59°  43'  and  140°  20'.  Both  longitudes  were  in- 
correct in  regard  to  Port  Mulgrave. 

'  The  editor  of  the  journal  of  La  Perouse,  in  his  effort  to  establish  the 


newly  discovered  port,  called  Ltua  by  the  natives,  was 
named  rightly  and  modestly  Port  des  Fran9ais,  which 
gave  no  undue  personal  prominence  to  any  one.  Ex- 
ploring and  surveying  parties  in  boats  were  sent  out 
at  once,  while  the  remainder  of  the  crews  were  em- 
ployed in  watering  the  ships  and  re-stowing  cargo  in 
order  to  mount  six  cannons  that  had  thus  far  been 
carried  in  the  hold.* 

The  bay  of  Ltua  represents  in  its  contours  the  let- 
ter T,  the  foot  forming  its  outlet  into  the  sea.  The 
cross-bar  consists  of  a  deep  basin  terminating  in 
glaciers.  La  Perouse  alludes  to  it  as  ''  perhaps  the 
most  extraordinary  place  in  the  world,"  and  describes 
the  upper  part  as  "  a  basin  of  water  of  a  depth  in  the 
middle  that  could  not  be  fathomed,  bordered  by  peaked 
mountains  of  an  excessive  height  covered  with  snow .  .  . 
I  never  saw  a  breath  of  air  ruffle  the  surface  of  this 
water;  it  is  never  troubled  but  by  the  fall  of  immense 
blocks  of  ice,  which  continually  detach  themselves  from 
fine  glaciers,  and  which  in  falling  make  a  noise  that 
resounds  far  through  the  mountains.  The  air  is  so 
calm  that  the  voice  may  be  heard  half  a  league  away, 
as  well  as  the  noise  of  the  sea  birds  that  lay  their  eggs 
in  the  cavities  of  these  rocks."  Though  charmed  with 
the  weird  grandeur  of  the  scenery,  the  explorers  were 
disappointed  in  their  expectation  of  finding  a  river  or 
channel  offering  a  passage  to  the  Canadian  lakes  or 
Hudson  Bay. 

Tntercourse  with  the  natives  began  with  the  first 

French  discoverer's  claim  to  priority  on  this  part  of  the  coast,  ignores  Cook 
as  having  been  '  too  far  from  the  shore, '  but  carefully  traces  the  movements 
of  Dixon  whom  he  seems  to  have  looked  upon  as  the  commander  of  the  ex- 
pedition, consisting  of  the  Kivfi  George  and  Qxieen  Charlotte,  and  shows  that 
La  Perouse  sighted  Moi;nt  St  Elias  and  other  points  far  earlier.  The  editor 
seems  to  make  a  fine  distinction  between  Prince  VTilham  Sound  and  the 
'northwest  coast'  of  America.  La  Perouse  himself  gives  so  careful  and  un- 
biassed a  description  of  what  he  saw  on  the  Alaskan  coast  as  to  impress  the 
reader  with  a  feeling  of  confidence  not  generally  derived  from  a  perusal  of 
the  narratives  of  his  English  and  other  predecessors  and  successors  in  the 
field  of  exploration. 

*  This  was  done,  according  to  the  editor  of  the  journal,  not  from  fear  of 
Indians  on  the  spot,  but  with  a  view  of  defence  against  pu'ates  in  the  China 
seas  they  were  so  soon  to  visit. 
Hist.  Alaska.    17 


day,  and  soon  they  came  in  large  numbers,  allured 
from  a  distance  it  was  supposed.  Contrary  to  his 
expectations  La  Perouse  found  the  savages  in  posses- 
sion of  knives,  hatchets,  iron,  and  beads,  from  which, 
with  clearer  discrimination  than  Cook,  he  concluded 
these  natives  to  have  indirect  communication  with  the 
Russians,  while  the  latter  navigator  ascribed  such 
indications  to  inter-tribal  traffic  originating  with  Hud- 
son Bay  posts. ^  It  was  convenient  for  the  English- 
man thus  to  ignore  the  presence  of  any  rival  in  these 
parts.  Traffic  was  carried  on  with  moderate  success, 
the  chief  article  of  barter  being  iron,  and  some  six 
hundred  sea-otter  skins  and  a  number  of  other  furs 
were  obtained.  To  so  inexperienced  a  trader  the 
business  transacted  appeared  immense,  leading  the 
commander  to  the  opinion  that  a  trading-post  could 
easily  collect  twenty  thousand  skins  per  annum,  yet 
he  leaned  rather  to  occasional  private  trading  expedi- 
tions than  to  the  fixed  establishment.  The  thieving 
propensities  of  the  natives  annoyed  the  French  very 
much,  and  in  the  hope  of  keeping  the  robbers  away 
La  Perouse  purchased  of  the  chief  an  island  in  the 
bay,  where  he  had  established  his  astronomical  sta- 
tion ;  but  though  a  high  price  was  paid  for  the  worth- 
less ground  there  was  no  abatement  of  thefts.  The 
savages  would  glide  through  the  dense  spruce  thicket 
at  night  and  steal  articles  from  under  the  very  heads 
of  sleepers  without  alarming  the  guards. 

On  July  13th  a  terrible  misfortune  befell  the  ex- 
pedition. Three  boats  had  been  sent  out  to  make 
final  soundings  for  a  chart,  including  the  passage  lead- 
ing out  to  sea.  As  the  undertaking  was  looked  upon 
in  the  light  of  a  pleasure  excursion,  affording  an  oppor- 
tunity for  hunting,  the  number  of  officers  accompany- 
ing the  party  was  larger  than  the  duty  required,  seven 

5  We  have  no  evidence  of  the  advance  of  Ismailof  's  boats  to  the  point  pre- 
viona  to  the  arrival  of  the  French  frigates.  The  seal-skin  covering  of  a  large 
canoe  or  bidar  discovered  here  M'oiild  point  to  visits  of  Aglegmutes  or  Chu- 
gatsches.  The  natives  stated  that  of  seven  similar  boats,  six  had  been  lost 
in  the  attempt  to  stem  the  fearful  tide-rip  at  the  entrance  to  the  bay. 


in  all,  while  the  crews  consisted  of  eighteen  of  the  best 
men  from  both  vessels.  On  approaching  the  narrow 
€hannel  at  the  entrance  of  the  bay,  two  of  the  boats 
were  drawn  into  the  resistless  current  and  engulfed  in 
the  breakers  almost  before  their  inmates  were  aware  of 
their  danger.  The  third  boat,  the  smallest,  narrowly 
escaped  a  like  fate.  Not  a  man  of  the  first  two  was 
saved,  not  even  a  single  body  was  washed  ashore.^  A 
monument  to  the  drowned  party  was  erected  on  the 
point  of  island  purchased  of  the  chief,  and  it  was 
named  L'Isle  du  Cenotaphe.^  Weighing  anchor  July 
30th  the  squadron  sailed  along  the  coast  without  mak- 
ing any  observations,  but  on  the  6th  of  August  the 
weather  cleared,  enabling  La  Perouse  to  determine  his 
position  in  the  vicinity  of  Norfolk  Sound. ^  Puerto  cle 
Bucareli  and  Cape  Kaigan  were  passed  by,  and  unfav- 
orable weather  foiled  the  attempt  to  run  into  Dixon 
Entrance,  whereupon  the  expedition  passed  beyond 
Alaska  limits.^  Superficial  as  were  his  observations, 
La  Perouse  came  to  the  conclusion  that  the  whole 
coast  from  Cross  Sound  to  Cape  Hector,  the  south 
point  of  Queen  Charlotte  Island,  was  one  archipelago.^^ 

During  the  year  1786  much  progress  was  made  in 
the  exploration  of  the  Alaskan  coast  between  Dixon 

^The  victims  were:  from  the  Boussole,  d'Esciires,  cle  Pierrevert,  de  Mon- 
tarnal  (officers),  and  8  men;  from  the  Astrolabe,  de  la  Borde  Marchainville,  de 
la  Borde  Boutervilliers,  Flassan  (officers),  and  7  men.  The  two  de  la  Borde 
were  brothers. 

'  The  monument  bore  an  inscription,  and  at  its  foot  a  bottle  was  buried 
containing  a  brief  narrative  of  the  melancholy  occurrence. 

^  He  recognized  the  Cabo  de  Engafio  and  Mount  San  Jacinto  of  the  Span- 
iards without  alluding  to  Cook's  nomenclature  of  Mount  and  Cape  Edgecombe. 
He  looked  into  Norfolk  Sound  from  the  group  of  islands  at  its  southern  en- 
trance, and  named  two  bays  to  the  southward,  of  which  he  saw  only  the  mouths, 
Port  Neiker  and  Poi't  Guibert  (probably  Port  Banks  and  Whale  Bay).  On  the 
following  day  he  named  Cape  Ommaney  (Cape  Chirikof )  and  Christian  Sound 
(Chirikof  Bay).  The  Hazy  Islands  he  renamed  Isles  de  la  Croyfere.  La  P6- 
Touse,  Voy.,  ii.  165-7. 

"  The  details  of  La  Pt$rouse's  explorations  and  observations  south  of  this 
point  can  be  found  in  Hht.  Northivest  Coast,  i.,  and  Hist.  Cal.,  i.,  this  series. 

^°In  the  following  year  the  Astrolabe  and  Boussole  reached  the  coast  of 
Kamchatka;  but  though  the  French  officers  met  a  number  of  individuals 
identified  with  the  historjj  of  Alaska,  the  circumstances  of  their  sojourn  in 
the  harbor  of  Petropavlovsk  have  no  immediate  connection  with  this  naiTa- 


Entrance  and  the  Alaska  Peninsula.  The  Captain 
Cook  and  the  Experiment,  under  captains  Lowry  and 
Guise,  sailed  in  June  from  Nootka  for  Prince  Will- 
iam Land,  where  they  obtained  a  small  lot  of  furs. 
More  extensive  are  the  experiences  recorded  of  John 
Meares.^^  He  sailed  from  Malacca  in  the  Nootka  May 
29,  1786.  A  companion  ship,  the  Sea  Otter,  also 
fitted  out  in  Bengal,  had  sailed  before  him  with  the 
intention  of  meeting  in  Prince  William  Sound,  but 
was  never  heard  of.  Amlia  and  Atkha,  of  the  Aleu- 
tian group,  were  sighted  the  1st  of  August,  and  after 
passing  unawares  to  the  northward  of  the  islands 
during  a  fog  he  was  on  the  5th  piloted  into  Beaver 
Bay  by  a  Russian.  While  taking  in  water,  Meares 
and  his  officers  were  hospitably  entertained  by  the 
Russians  on  Unalaska  under  Delarof,  yet  the  English- 
man delights  none  the  less  to  sneer  at  their  poverty 
while  extolling  the  'generous'  and  'magnanimous'  con- 
duct of  the  British  trader,  as  represented  in  himself. 
On  arriving  at  the  mouth  of  Cook  Inlet  soon  after, 
he  heard  that  two  vessels  had  already  visited  that 
part  of  the  coast  that  summer,  and  seeing  indications 
of  Russians  everywhere  he  passed  on  to  Prince  Will- 
iam Sound,  imagining  himself  first  on  the  ground. 
On  his  way  he  gave  the  name  of  Petrie  to  Shelikof 
Strait.  In  his  eagerness  to  gather  all  the  sea-otter 
skins  possible,  Meares  allowed  the  season  to  slip  by 
till  too  late  for  a  passage  to  China  and  no  choice 
remained  but  to  winter  in  the  sound.  He  first  tried 
the  anchorage  of  Snug  Corner  Cove,  discovered  by 
Cook,  but  subsequently  moved  his  vessel  to  a  sheltered 
nook  nearer  the  mainland,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  pres- 
ent village  of  Tatikhlek. 

11  Voyages  made  in  the  years  17S8  and  1789  from  China  to  the  North-ioest 
Coast,  of  America,  to  which  is  prefixed  an  Introductory  Narrative  of  a  Voyage 
•perfffrmed  in  17S6,  from  Bemjal  in  the  ship  Nootka,  by  John  Meares,  Esq., 
London,  1790.  Of  this  work  several  editions  have  been  published.  The  im- 
pression created  by  a  perusal  of  Meares'  narrative,  especially  in  the  light  of 
his  later  transactions  at  Nootka,  is  that  he  was  an  insincere  and  unscrupulous 
man,  and  that  he  was  so  regarded  by  Portlock  is  evident  from  the  maimer  in 
which  the  latter  bound  him  to  the  fulfihnent  of  his  promises. 


The  vessel  was  but  ill-supplied  with  the  provisions 
necessary  for  a  long  winter  in  the  far  north,  but  the 
best  arrangements  possible  under  the  circumstances 
were  made.  The  ship  was  covered.  Spruce  beer 
was  brewed;  but  the  crew  preferring  the  spirituous 
liquor  which  was  served  out  too  freely  for  men  on 
short  allowance  of  food,  and  the  supply  of  fresh  fish 
n>eanwhile  being  stopped,  scurvy  broke  out.  Among 
the  first  victims  was  the  surgeon.  Funerals  became 
frequent.  At  first,  attempts  were  made  to  dig  a  shal- 
low grave  under  the  snow;  but  as  the  survivors  be- 
came few  and  lost  their  strength,  the  bodies  were 
dropped  through  cracks  in  the  ice,  to  become  food  for 
fishes  long  before  returning  spring  opened  their  crys- 
tal vault.  At  last  the  strength  of  the  decimated  crew 
was  barely  sufiicient  to  drag  the  daily  supply  of  fuel 
from  the  forest  a  few  hundred  yards  away.  The  sav- 
ages, who  kept  themselves  well  informed,  grew  inso- 
lent as  they  waited  impatiently  for  the  last  man  to 

In  April  some  natives  from  a  distant  part  of  the 
sound  visited  the  vessel.  A  girl  purchased  by  Meares 
at  the  beginning  of  the  winter  for  an  axe  and  some 
beads,  and  who  had  served  as  interpreter,  declared 
them  to  be  her  own  people  and  went  away  with  them — 
a  rat  leaving  a  doomed  ship. 

The  depth  of  despondency  had  been  reached  when 
Meares  heard  of  the  arrival  of  two  ships  in  the  sound. 
Without  a  seaworthy  boat  or  a  crew  he  was  obliged 
to  await  a  chance  visit  from  the  new-comers.  A  let- 
ter intrusted  to  some  natives  failed  to  reach  its  des- 
tination. In  the  evening  of  the  8th  of  Ma}^,  however. 
Captain  Dixon  of  the  Queen  Charlotte  arrived  in  a 
whaleboat  and  boarded  the  Nootka,  which  was  still  fast 
in  the  ice.  Learning  of  Meares'  distress  he  promised 
all  necessary  assistance. ^^ 

'^  Meares  complained  that  Dixon  would  make  no  promise  until  the  matter 
had  been  submitted  to  Portlock,  and  that  he  would  hold  out  no  hope  for  sup- 
plies; but  Dixon  writes:  '  I  had.  .  .satisfaction  in  assuring  him  that  he  should 
be   furnished   with  every  necessary  we   could  possibly  spare.     As  Captaia 


Meares  now  had  one  of  his  boats  repaired,  and  pro- 
ceeded to  Portloek's  vessels,  on  the  north  side  of 
Montague  Island,  where  relief  was  obtained.  Port- 
lock  insisted,  however,  that  Meares  should  cease  at 
once  to  trade  with  the  natives  and  leave  the  field  to 
him,  and  the  latter  yielded,  though  he  complained 
bitterly.^^  A  month  after  the  departure  of  the  Queen 
Charlotte  in  search  of  furs  the  Nootka  left  the  scene 
of  so  much  misery  and  disaster,  her  commander  bid- 
ding a  reluctant  farewell  to  the  coast  of  Alaska  in 
conformance  with  his  promise  to  Captain  Portlock. 

This  was  the  second  visit  to  Alaska  of  Portlock  and 
Dixon.  They  had  sailed  from  England  in  August  1785 
in  the  ship  King  George  and  Queen  Charlotte,  and  first 
approached  the  vicinity  of  Cook  Inlet  on  the  16th  of 
July  1786.  Less  dismayed  than  Meares  at  the  presence 
of  Russians,  they  moved  past  them  up  to  the  head  of 
Cook  Inlet,  and  there  met  with  considerable  success 
in  trading.^* 

After  a  sojourn  of  nearly  a  month  the  King  George 

Meares'  people  were  now  getting  better,  he  desired  me  not  to  take  the  trouble 
of  sending  any  refreshments  to  him,  as  he  would  come  on  board  of  us  very 
shortly  in  his  own  boat.'  Dixon's  Voy.,  155. 

^^  Meares  gives  his  readers  the  impression  of  a  strong  bias  in  this  matter, 
and  one  inclines  to  credit  the  two  naval  officers,  whose  narratives  bear  the 
stamp  of  truth.  Further  than  this  the  wild  statements,  if  not  deliberate  false- 
hoods, of  Meares  in  connection  wit'j  the  Nootka  controversy  are  well  known. 
Dixon  states  the  case  as  follows:  '  In  the  forenoon  of  the  11th  Captain  Meares 
and  Mr  Ross  left  us.  They  were  supi)lied  with  what  flour,  sugar,  molasses, 
brandy,  etc.,  we  could  possibly  spare;  and  in  order  to  render  them  every 
assistance  in  our  power.  Captain  Portlock  spared  Captain  Meares  two  seamen 
to  assist  in  carrying  his  vessel  to  the  Sandwich  Islands,  where  he  proposed 
going  as  soon  as  the  weather  permitted.'  Id.,  15S. 

"On  the  10th  of  July  the  ships  had  stood  into  a  capacious  opening  on  the 
east  side  near  the  entrance  of  the  inlet.  The  place  was  named  Graham  Bay, 
and  a  cove  on  the  north  side  near  the  entrance  was  called  Coal  Harbor,  sev- 
eral seams  of  that  mineral  being  visible  along  the  blufl's.  A  party  of  Russians 
with  a  number  of  native  hunters  were  encamped  near  a  lagoon,  the  site  of  the 
later  trading-post  of  Alexandrovsk.  Seeing  no  prospect  of  trade  here,  Portlock 
concluded  to  proceed  up  the  inlet  or  river  as  he  presumed  it  to  be.  The 
highest  point  reached  by  him  was  Trading  Bay,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present 
village  of  Toyonok,  just  east  of  North  S'orcland.  Here  some  trading  was 
done,  evidently  with  Kadiak  or  Chugatsch  hunting  parties;  for  they  all  used 
the  kyak,  or  skin  canoe,  and  had  no  permanent  villages  ou  the  shore.  Port- 
lock  assumed  from  the  signs  of  these  natives  that  they  asked  his  assistance 
against  the  Rus.sians,  but  in  this  he  was  probably  mistaken.  Dixon's  Voy.,  GO- 
C9;  Portloek's  Voy.,  102-17 


and  Queen  Charlotte  left  the  inlet  on  the  13th  of  Au- 
gust, with  the  intention  to  examine  Prince  William 
Sound.  A  succession  of  contrary  winds  and  thick 
weather  interfered  with  this  plan.  For  over  a  month 
the  vessels  kept  near  the  coast,  sighting  many  points 
previously  determined  by  Spanish  and  English  ex- 
plorers, but  finding  it  impossible  to  make  a  landing, 
until  finally,  on  the  28th  of  September,  when  in  the 
vicinity  of  Nootka  Sound,  Captain  Portlock  gave  up 
all  hopes  of  further  trade  that  season  and  headed  for 
the  Hawaiian  Islands. 

After  wintering  there  Portlock  sailed  once  more 
for  the  Alaskan  coast,  and  sighted  Montague  Island 
on  the  23d  of  April.  Natives  who  visited  the  ships 
on  the  west  side  of  the  island  were  without  furs,  but 
pointed  to  the  head  of  the  sound,  repeating  the  word 
'Nootka,'  which  puzzled  Captains  Portlock  and  -Dixon 
not  a  little,  until  the  latter  finally  fell  in  with  Meares 
as  before  stated.  The  Queen  Charlotte  stood  down 
the  coast,  while  Portlock  moved  to  Nuchek  Harbor 
to  await  the  long-boat  of  the  King  George  which  had 
been  despatched  for  Cook  Inlet  on  the  12th  of  May, 
with  orders  to  return  by  the  20th  of  June.^^  The 
boat  returned  on  the  11th,  reporting  such  success  that 
she  was  fitted  out  anew  and  despatched  upon  a  second 
trip  with  positive  orders  to  return  by  the  20th  of 

Portlock's  prolonged  stay  at  Nuchek  enabled  him 
to  form  a  very  good  chart  of  the  bay,  which  he  named 
Port  Etches,  while  a  cove  on  the  west  side  was 
called  Brook  Cove.^^  Trade  was  not  very  active, 
and  boats  sent  to  various  parts  of  the  sound  did  not 

^^The  boat  was  commanded  by  Hay  ward,  third  mate. 

'^A  smoke-house  was  erected  for  the  purpose  of  curing  salmon;  an  abun- 
dance of  spruce  beer  was  brewed  and  a  number  of  spars  were  secured  from 
the  virgin  forest  lining  the  shores  of  the  bay.  At  the  head  of  one  of  the 
coves  an  inscription  was  discovered  upon  a  tree,  which  Portlock  believed  to 
be  Greek,  made  by  a  man  living  among  the  natives,  but  which  of  course  was 
Russian.  Portlock  left  a  wooden  vane  and  inscription  on  Garden  Island  to 
the  south  side  of  Nuchek  Harbor.  Garden  strawberries  are  now  found  on 
this  and  other  points  of  Niichek  Island — probably  the  result  of  Portlock's 
experiment.    Voy.,  232,  243. 


meet  with  mudi  success,  some  of  them  being  robbed 
not  only  of  trading  goods  and  provisions,  but  of 
clothes  and  arms  belonging  to  the  men.  The  whale- 
boat  and  yawl  were  left  high  ashore  by  the  ebb-tide 
to  the  eastward  of  Nuchek  Island,  and  in  that  help- 
less condition  the  crews  were  surrounded  by  two  hun- 
dred natives  and  completely  stripped,  the  only  result 
of  the  expedition  being  the  discovery  that  Nuchek 
was  an  island,  a  fact  already  ascertained  by  the 

On  the  22d  of  July  the  long-boat  returned  from 
her  second  and  less  remunerative  voyage  to  Cook 
Inlet,  and  three  days  later  the  King  George  sailed  out 
of  Port  Etches,  passing  round  the  west  side  of  Mon- 
tague Island.  Portlock  sighted  Mount  Fairweather, 
but  failed  to  find  Cross  Sound,  which  he  had  looked 
for  in  vain  the  preceding  season.  On  the  5  th  of 
August  he  found  a  harbor,  which  was  named'  after 
himself,  about  twelve  leagues  to  the  southward  of 
Cape  Cross  as  located  by  Cook.^^  Here  the  King 
George  anchored  once  more  and  the  boats  were  sent 
out  in  search  of  inhabitants  and  trade.  Only  a  few 
natives  visited  the  ships,  for  no  permanent  settlement 
existed  thereabout.  The  long-boat,  however,  under 
Hayward,  made  a  quite  successful  trip  to  Norfolk 
Sound,  passing  on  the  return  voyage  through  Klokat- 
chef  Sound  Cook  Bay  of  Islands.''  On  the  23d  of 
August  the  King  George  set  sail;  left  the  coast  of 
Alaska  for  the  Hawaiian  Islands,  the  next  rendezvous 
appointed  with  Dixon. 

"  The  latitude  of  the  ship's  position  in  this  hai'bor  is  given  as  57°  46',  but 
while  Portlock's  sketch  seems  plain  enough,  no  latei-  navigator  has  confirmed 
the  contours  of  the  bay.  On  the  latest  chart  issued  by  the  United  States 
Hydrographic  Office  a  simple  break  in  the  coast  line  under  the  latitude  given 
is  indicated  as  Portlock  Harbor.  It  must  exist  somewhere  on  the  west  coast 
of  Chichagof  Island. 

'8  The  inhabitants  of  Norfolk  Sound  had  shown  some  disposition  to  hos- 
tility toward  the  crew  of  the  long-boat,  but  about  the  ship  they  confined 
themselves  merely  to  stealing.  Dixon,  in  his  narrative,  spoke  of  having  seen 
here  a  white  linen  shirt  worn  by  an  Indian,  which  he  believed  to  be  of  Span- 
ish make,  but  it  is  much  more  probable  that  the  garment  had  found  its  way 
there  from  some  point  of  the  coast  where  the  Astrolabe  and  Boutssole  had 


Dixon  had  in  the  mean  time  sailed  eastward  along 
the  coast,  and  more  fortunate  than  Portlock  he  did  not 
overlook  the  wide  entrance  of  Yakutat  Bay,  which 
he  entered  the  23d  of  May.  He  discovered  and  sur- 
veyed a  fine  harbor  on  the  south  side,  which  he  named 
Port  Mulgrave.  Here  the  Queen  Charlotte  remained 
nearly  two  weeks,  meeting  at  first  with  some  success 
in  trading,  though  the  natives  were  in  possession  of 
Russian  beads  and  ironware.  An  exploration  of  the 
neighborhood  in  boats  convinced  Dixon  that  the  shores 
of  the  bay  were  thinly  peopled.  ^^ 

On  the  4th  of  June  he  proceeded  eastward  in  search 
of  some  port  where  better  trade  might  be  found. 
Owing  to  his  distance  from  the  coast  he  failed  to 
observe  Cross  Sound,  but  on  the  11th  he  sighted 
Mount  Edgecombe,  and  the  following  day  entered  and 
named  Norfolk  Sound."*'  A  survey  was  made  which 
resulted  in  a  very  fair  chart.  Natives  made  their 
appearance  as  the  ship  was  passing  into  the  bay  and 
for  three  days  trade  was  brisk. 

On  the  24th  of  June  the  Queen  Charlotte  left  Nor- 
folk Sound,  and  on  the  following  day  another  harbor 
was  observed  and  named  Port  Banks,  probably  the 
present  Whale  Bay,  in  latitude  56°  35'.  The  wind 
not  being  favorable  no  attempt  w^as  made  to  enter, 
and  about  the  1st  of  July  Dixon  left  the  coast  of 
Alaska  to  meet  with  his  first  marked  success  in  trading 
at  Clark  Bay  on  the  north-western  extremity  of 
Queen  Charlotte  Islands.  The  events  of  his  voyage 
below  this  point  are  told  in  another  volume. ^^ 

'*  Dixon  estimated  a  population  of  only  70,  including  women  and  children, 
which  is  much  too  low.  His  description  of  the  natives  is  not  very  accurate. 
See  Native  Jlaces,  i.  passim,  this  series. 

^^  The  natives  seemed  to  Dixon  more  easy  to  deal  with  than  those  at  Port 
Mulgrave.  During  an  exploration  of  the  bay  in  boats  some  inconvenience 
was  experienced  from  their  thieving  propensities.  The  astronomical  position 
of  his  anchorage  on  the  east  shore  of  Kruzoi  Island  -was  lat.  70°  3',  long.  135° 
38'.  He  applied  the  name  of  White  Point  to  the  Beach  Cape  of  the  Russians. 
The  whole  estuary  was  named  after  the  duke  of  Norfolk. 

'^^Hist.  Northwest  Coast,  i.,  this  series.  All  our  information  concerning  the 
visits  of  the  Khig  George  and  Qiieni  Charlotte  to  the  Alaskan  coast  is  derived 
from  the  narratives  of  Dixon  and  Portlock,  and  to  a  limited  extent  from  that 
of  Meares.    Portlock's  narrative  was  published  in  London  in  1799  under  the 


The  next  exploration  of  Prince  William  Sound  and 
the  coast  east  of  it  took  place  during  the  second  voy- 
age of  the  Trekh  Sviatiteli,  in  connection  with  Sheli- 
kof's  plans  for  the  development  and  extension  of  his 
colony.  This  vessel  had  arrived  at  Kadiak  from 
Okhotsk  in  April  1788  and  was  at  once  desj)atched 
upon  a  trading  and  exploring  voyage  to  the  eastward, 
under  Ismailof  and  Bocharof,  both  holding  the  rank  of 
masters  in  the  imperial  navy  with  special  instructions 
furnished  by  Jacobi,  then  governor  general  of  Siberia, 
and  supplemented  by  orders  of  Eustrate  Delarof  who 
had  succeeded  Samoilof  in  the  command  of  the  colony. 
The  crew  consisted  of  forty  Russians  and  four  natives 
of  Kadiak  who  were  to  serve  as  interpreters.  In  ad- 
dition to  as  full  an  armament  and  equipment  as  cir- 
cumstances would  allow  the  expedition  was  supplied 
with  a  number  of  painted  posts  and  boards,  copper 

title  of  ^  Voyage  round  the  World,  but  more  particularly  to  the  North-  West  Coast 
of  America:  j^erformed  in  17S5, 17S6, 1787,  and  1788,  4to.  The  volume  bears 
eNddence  of  the  honest  and  careful  investigations  by  a  strict  disciplinarian 
who  left  the  commercial  part  of  his  enterprise  to  others.  It  is  profusely 
illustrated  with  maps  and  sketches  of  scenery,  etc.  The  latter,  made  chiefly 
by  an  apprentice  named  Woodcock,  have  evidently  suffered  at  the  hand  of 
the  engraver,  for  it  is  scarcely  probable  that  the  young  man  should  have 
originally  represented  Alaska  with  groves  of  palms  and  other  tropical  trees, 
to  say  nothing  of  three-story  houses.  Another  remarkable  feature  is  that, 
though  the  special  charts  and  sketches  are  generally  correct,  the  general  chart 
of  the  coast  from  Norfolk  Sound  to  Kadiak  is  full  of  glaring  inaccuracies. 
Beginning  in  the  east,  Portlock  Harbor  in  dimensions  is  represented  out  of 
all  proportion  to  those  of  the  special  chart  and  the  text.  The  next  discrep- 
ancy occurs  at  Nuchek  Island,  called  Rose  Island  on  the  chart,  which  is  drawn 
at  least  four  times  too  large,  and  its  contours  as  well  as  those  of  Port  Etches 
are  not  in  conformity  with  the  special  chart  and  the  text.  IMontague  Island 
is  also  represented  too  large,  three  very  deep  and  conspicuous  bays  on  its 
north-eastern  end  are  omitted,  though  the  vessel's  track  is  laid  down  within 
a  mile  of  the  shore,  and  the  harbors  on  the  west  coast  are  not  laid  in  to  agree 
with  special  charts  and  text.  In  Cook  Inlet,  Graham  Harbor  is  made  at 
least  six  times  too  large,  but  Cape  Elizabeth  is  depicted  for  the  first  time 
correctly  as  an  island.  Shelikof  Strait,  though  known  to  the  Russians  for 
several  years,  and  named  Petrie  by  Meares,  is  still  closed  on  this  chart  and 
its  upper  portion,  just  south  of  Cape  Douglas,  retains  the  name  of  Smoky  Bay, 
given  by  Cook.  The  strait  between  Kadiak  and  Afognak  is  duly  indicated, 
but  the  former  island  is  rexjresented  as  part  of  the  continent,  while  Afognak 
and  Shuiak  are  made  one  island  and  named  Kodiac.  The  coast  of  the  Kenai 
peninsula  between  Cape  Elizabeth  and  Prince  William  Sound  was  evidently 
laid  down  from  Vancouver's  chart,  but  its  corrections  in  Piince  William 
Sound  have  been  entirely  ignored.  The  compilation  of  the  general  chart  must 
have  been  entrusted  to  incompetent  hands,  without  being  revised  by  any  one 
familiar  with  Portlock's  notes  and  sui-veys. 


plates  and  medals,  "to  mark  the  extent  of  Russia's 
domain."  ^^ 

On  the  2d  of  May  the  ship  put  to  sea,  and  three 
days  later  made  Cape  Clear,  the  southernmost  point 
of  Montague  Island. ^^  No  safe  anchorage  was  found 
until  the  10th,  when  the  Trekh  Sviatiteli  entered  the 
capacious  harbor  of  Nuchek  or  Hinchinbrook  Island. 
On  the  same  day  an  exploring  party  was  sent  out  in 
boats,  and  on  the  northern  side  of  the  island  a  wooden 
cross  was  erected  with  an  inscription  claiming  the 
country  as  Russian  territory.^^ 

The  events  of  1787-8  must  have  been  puzzling  to  the 
natives  of  Prince  William  Sound.  Englishmen  under 
the  English  flag,  Englishmen  under  the  Portuguese 
flag,  Spaniards  and  Russians,  were  cruising  about, 
often  within  a  few  miles  of  each  other,  taking  posses- 
sion, for  one  nation  or  the  other,  of  all  the  land  in 
sight.  The  Princesa  from  Mexico  appears  to  have 
left  Nuchek  two  days  before  the  Russians  arrived 
there;  the  Prince  of  Wales,  Captain  Hutchins,  must 
have  been  at  anchor  in  Spring  Corner  Cove  about 
the  same  time,  and  shortly  after  the  Iphigenia,  Cap- 
tain Douglas,  entered  the  same  cove,^^  while  Portlock 
left  traces  near  by  two  months  later.  Douglas  touched 
the  southern  part  of  Alaska  also  in  the  following 
year,  and  sought  to  acquire  fame  by  renaming  Dixon 
Entrance  after  himself 

Bocharof  carefully  surveyed  the  inner  harbor,  the 
Brook  Cove  of  Portlock,  and  named  it  St  Constantino 
and  St  Helena,  after  the  day  of  arrival.  On  the  27th 
of  May  the  TreJch  Sviatiteli  returned  to  the  coast  of 
Montague  Island.     Some  trading  was  done  here  de- 

^^  Shelikof,  Putesh.,  ii.  2,  3. 

^^  The  two  navigators  declared  that  this  was  the  Cape  St  Elias  of  Bering, 
without  any  apparent  basis  for  their  opinion  and  without  considering  that  in 
such  a  case  the  Russian  discoverer  could  never  have  been  within  thirty  miles 
of  the  American  continent, 

^*  At  its  fort  a  copper  plate  was  buried,  proclaiming  the  same.  Id. ,  ii.  7. 

'■'^  The  latter  found  the  following  inscriptions  cut  into  the  bark  of  two 
trees:  'Z.  Etches  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  May  9,  1788,'  and  'John  Hutchins.' 
Meares'  Voy.,  316. 


spite  the  presence  of  the  Enghsh  who  paid  such  prices 
as  the  Russians  never  dreamed  of.^^ 

By  advice  of  a  native  Ismailof  proceeded  to  Achakoo 
Island,^^  some  distance  to  the  southward,  which  was 
dascribed  as  abounding  in  sea-otters.  Not  finding  a 
harbor  he  landed  in  a  boat  with  seventeen  men  and  a 
Chugatsch  pilot.  After  trading  amicably  for  some 
time  the  commander  sent  off  a  party  of  eight  men  to 
gather  eggs  on  the  cliffs,  but  they  soon  came  back 
reporting  that  several  bidars  filled  with  Chugatsches 
were  approaching.  This  aroused  susjoicion  among  the 
promyshleniki,  and  their  alarm  was  increased  by  the 
discovery  that  the  Chugatsch  guide  had  disappeared. 
The  chief  in  command  of  the  native  hunting  party 
professed  to  have  no  knowledge  of  the  deserter,  and 
offered  to  go  in  search  of  him  with  five  Russians  in  a 
bidar.  Four  of  these  men  the  cunning  savage  sent 
into  the  interior  upon  a  false  trail,  and  then  drawing 
a  spear  from  under  his  parka  he  attacked  the  remain- 
ing Russian  with  great  fury.  One  of  the  other  men 
returned  to  assist  his  comrade,  but  both  had  a  severe 
struggle  with  the  savage,  who  was  at  last  despatched 
with  a  musket  ball.^*^  As  soon  as  the  others  returned 
the  party  hurried  on  board,  the  anchor  was  raised, 
and  all  speed  was  made  to  depart. 

On  the  1st  of  June  the  Trekh  Sviatiteli  arrived  at 
the  island  of  Kyak,^^  which  was  uninhabited,  though 
the  natives  from  the  mainland  came  at  times  to  hunt 
sea-otters  and  foxes.  The  adjoining  coast  was  thor- 
oughly explored,  but  the  inhabitants  fled  in  alarm, 
abandoning  their  huts  and  canoes  whenever  the  clumsy 
boats  of  the  Russians  came  in  sight.  After  a  slow 
advance  easterly,  the  large  bay  of  Yakutat  was  reached 
on  the  11th  of  June.     Here  the  chief  of  the  Thlin-' 

■^*  They  found  the  chiefs  rather  diffident  in  accepting  one  of  the  Russian 
medals  sent  out  by  Governor  Jacobi.  The  presence  of  a  Spanish /ra^ato  on 
the  other  side  of  the  Island  may  have  had  something  to  do  with  it. 

''■''  Ochek  of  Russian  charts  and  Middleton  Island  of  Vancouver. 

^^Shdlkof,  Pittcsh.,  ii.  29-31. 

2'  Koriak  in  Ismailof 's  Jounved;  Kaye  of  Cook.  Pallas,  Neue  Nordische 
Beltruyc,  v.  211. 


keet  nation  made  his  appearance,  having  travelled  up 
the  coast  from  his  winter  residence  at  Chilkaht  with  a 
retinue  of  over  two  hundred  warriors  including  two 
of  his  sons.  Intercourse  was  carried  on  with  great 
caution,  but  in  trading  Isma'ilof  was  much  more  suc- 
cessful than  Dixon.  In  addition  to  his  purchases  he 
obtained  a  large  number  of  skins  from  his  Kadiak 
hunters,  who  in  their  bidarkas  could  go  far  out  to  sea, 
where  the  open  wooden  canoes  of  the  Thlinkeets  did 
not  dare  to  follow.  In  order  to  draw  attention  from 
this  rivalry  ceremonious  visits  and  exchange  of  pres- 
ents were  kept  up.  The  Russian  commander  could 
not  have  failed  to  hear  of  Dixon's  visit,  but  not  a 
word  about  it  can  be  found  in  his  journal.  In  this 
he  probabl}^  obeyed  instructions,  for  even  business 
letters  from  the  islands  to  Siberia  were  in  those 
days  frequently  tampered  with  by  the  authorities  of 
Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka,  and  it  was  the  interest  of 
Shelikof  and  his  partners  to  have  I^nglish  claims  to 
prior  occupation  ignored. 

Isma'ilof  dwells  much  upon  his  efforts  to  induce  the 
Thlinkeet  chiefs  to  place  themselves  under  the  pro- 
tection of  Russia,  and  before  leaving  he  presented  to 
Chief  Ilkhak  the  portrait  of  Tsarovich  Paul  "■  at  his 
earnest  request,"  and  decorated  him  with  one  of  the 
medals  sent  out  by  the  governor  general  of  Siberia. 
Copper  plates  inscribed  ^'  Possession  of  the  Russian 
Empire"  were  also  buried  on  two  points  on  the  bay.^*^ 
Two  enslaved  boys  of  the  Chugatsch  and  Chilkaht 
tribes  were  purchased,  who  proved  of  great  service 
as  interpreters,  and  in  giving  information  concerning 
the  coast  southward  and  eastward. 

From  Yakutat  the  Trekh  Sviatiteli  proceeded  east- 
ward in  search  of  another  harbor.  The  Chugatsch  boy 
acted  as  pilot  and  pointed  out  the  mouths  of  several 
rivers,  but  no  landing-place  was  discovered  until  the 

^^  Two  years  latei'  not  a  trace  could  be  found  of  portraits,  medal,  or  cop- 
per plates,  which  makes  it  appear  that  Ilkhak's  respect  for  the  Russian  impe- 
rial family  was  not  as  great  as  represented.  Ismctilofs  Journal,  14-15. 


third  day,  M^ien  the  vessel  entered  Ltua  Bay  or  Port 
des  Frangais.  Trade  was  quite  active  here  for  some 
days,  and  in  the  mean  time  Ismailof  carried  out  his 
secret  instructions  by  estabhshing  marks  of  Russian 
occupation  at  various  points,  and  perhaps  destroying 
the  monument  left  by  La  Perouse.^^ 

The  results  of  Ismailof's  explorations  during  the 
summer  of  1788  were  of  sufficient  importance  to  stimu- 
late Delarof  to  further  attempts  in  the  same  direc- 
tion, but  before  following  these  it  is  necessary  to  turn 
our  attention  to  a  visit  of  the  Spaniards  in  the  same 

Housed  by  the  reports  of  La  Perouse  and  others 
concerning  the  spread  of  Russian  settlements  in  the 
far  north,  and  the  influx  of  English  and  other  trad- 
ing vessels,  the  Spanish  government  in  1787  or- 
dered the  viceroy  of  Mexico  to  despatch  at  once  an 
expedition  to  verify  these  accounts  and  examine  the 
north-western  coast  for  places  that  might  be  desirable 
of  occupation  in  anticipation  of  foreign  designs.  On 
March  8,  1788,  accordingly  the  fragata  Princesa  and 
the  paquebot  San  Carlos,  under  Alferez  Estevan  Jose 
Martinez  and  the  pilot  Gonzalo  Lopez  de  Haro,  set 
sail  from  San  Bias,  with  the  additional  instructions  to 
ascend  to  latitude  61°  and  examine  the  coast  down  to 
Monterey ;  to  avoid  all  trouble  with  the  Russians,  and 
to  conciliate  native  chiefs  with  gifts  and  promises.^^ 

'^  No  reference  is  made  in  his  journal  to  the  tablets  and  monument  placed 
by  the  French,  though  he  was  informed  by  the  natives  of  the  visit  of  two  large 
ships  to  the  harbor  and  saw  many  tools  and  implements  marked  with  the 
royal  fleur  de  U-:.  A  small  anchor  similarly  marked  was  secured.  The  re- 
ports of  Ismailof  and  Bocharof  have  been  preserved  in  their  original  bad 
spelling  and  grammar,  not  easy  to  imitate,  and  we  must  therefore  presume 
that  they  were  written  in  the  unsatisfactory  and  fragmentary  shape  in  which 
we  find  them. 

^^  A  man  should,  if  possible,  be  obtained  from  each  tribe  speaking  a  dis- 
tinct tongue,  as  interpreter;  frequent  landings  must  be  made  for  explora- 
ting  and  taking  possession;  Russian  establishments  must  be  closely  inspected 
to  ascertain  their  strength,  object,  etc.  '  No  deberdn  empenar  lance  alguno 
con  los  buques  rusos  6  de  otra  nacion.'  Provisions  were  taken  for  15  months. 
It  was  at  first  proposed  to  send  the  fragatas  Conccpcion  and  Farorita,  under 
Teniente  Camacho  and  Alf6rez  Maurelle,  but  sickness  and  delays  caused  the 
change  to  be  made.    For  details  of  instructions,  etc.,  see  Cuarta  cxploracion  de 


"Without  touching  any  intermediate  point  they  ar- 
rived before  Prince  WiUiam  Sound  May  17th,  anchor- 
ing eleven  days  later  on  the  north  side  of  Montague 
Island  in  a  good  harbor,  which  was  named  Puerto  de 
Floras.  Here  they  took  possession  and  remained  till 
"the  15th  of  June  in  friendly  intercourse  with  the 
natives,  while  the  boats  were  sent  out  to  explore  in 
the  vicinity.^^^  Without  further  effort  to  examine  the 
sound,  Martinez  turned  south-eastward,  sighting  the 
Miranda  volcano  on  the  24th  of  June,  and  anchoring 
at  the  east  point  of  Trinity  Island  three  days  later. 
Shelikof  Strait  was  named  Canal  de  Flores.^*  Mean- 
while Haro,  who  had  lost  sight  of  the  consort  vessel, 
sailed  close  along  the  east  coast  of  Kadiak,  and  noti- 
fied by  a  native  of  the  Russian  colony  at  Three  Saints 
he  visited  it,  and  entertained  the  officers  in  return. 

Delarof,  the  chief  of  the  colony,  understood  the 
object  of  the  Spaniards,  and  took  the  opportunity  to 
impress  upon  them  that  the  tsar  had  firmly  established 
his  domain  in  this  quarter  as  far  as  latitude  52°  by 
means  of  six  settlements  with  over  four  hundred  men, 
who  controlled  six  coast  vessels  and  were  regularly 
supplied  and  visited  by  three  others.  It  was  also  pro- 
posed to  found  a  station  at  Nootka  in  the  following 
year.^^     In  the  interest  of  ruler  and  employers  this 

descubrimientos  de  la  costa  setentrional  de  California  hasta  los  61  grados... 
por.  .  .Jos6  Martinez. .  .1788,  in  V'iagefi  al  Norte,  MS.,  No.  vii. 

^3  No  Russians  were  met;  yet  a  log-house  was  found  in  a  bay  near  the 
north  end  of  the  island,  probably  a  relic  of  Zai'kof's  wintering  four  years 
before.  Martinez  long  persisted  in  declaring  that  the  entrance  here  did  not 
lead  to  Prince  William  Sound. 

^^  The  east  point  of  Trinity  was  called  Florida  Blanca.  A  taciturn  Russian 
who  had  lived  there  for  nine  years,  came  on  board  and  offered  to  care  for  the 
cross  erected  by  the  Spaniards. 

^^  Delarof  had  60  Russians  and  2  galeotas  at  his  place;  at  Cabo  de  Rada 
were  37  men;  at  Cape  Elizabeth,  40  men;  on  a  small  island  in  Canal  de  Flores, 
latitude  58°,  40  men;  a  reenforcement  of  70  men  had  sailed  for  Cook  Inlet  to 
.sustain  the  establishment  there;  in  latitude  52°  20'  on  the  continent  were  55 
men  and  one  galeota;  at  Unalaska,  120  men  with  two  galeotas.  Total,  six 
establishments  with  six  galeotas  and  422  men,  besides  a  galeota  with  40  men, 
which  annually  sailed  on  the  coast  as  far  as  Nootka,  gathering  furs  and  stor- 
ing them  in  two  magazines  at  Prince  William  Sound.  Every  other  year  two 
fragatas  came  from  Siberia  with  men  and  supplies,  going  as  far  as  Nootka  and 
.replacing  the  men  whose  term  of  service  had  exph-ed.  C'uarta  Explor.,  in 
-Viajes  al  Norte,  MS.,  pt.  vii,  309-10.     Delarof 's  stories  were  readily  beUeved 


exaggeration  of  facts  seemed  perfectly  proper,  and  it 
assisted  no  doubt  to  reconcile  the  Spanish  government 
to  Russian  occupation  in  the  extreme  north,  but  the 
hint  about  a  projected  establishment  at  Nootka  assisted 
greatly  to  precipitate  active  measures  by  Spain,  which 
resulted  only  in  a  humiliating  withdrawal  on  her  part 
in  favor  of  a  stronger  and  more  determined  power, 
which  effectually  checked  the  advance  of  Russia.  The 
w^ily  Greek  overreached  himself 

Haro  now  rejoined  his  leader,  and  both  vessels  left 
on  July  5th  for  Unalaska.^^  While  anchoring  off  its 
northern  point,  Martinez  on  July  21st  took  possession 
in  the  name  of  Spain,  and  w^as  shortly  after  visited  by 
Russians  from  the  station  on  the  eastern  side  of  the 
island,  to  which  the  vessels  now  proceeded.^^  Here 
they  remained  till  August  18th,  caring  for  the  sick 
and  taking  in  supplies,  with  the  kind  assistance  of 
Potap  Zaikof,  the  commandant.  Martinez  considered 
the  season  too  far  advanced  to  explore  the  coast  east- 
ward, or  even  to  seek  Nootka,  and  all  speed  was  there- 
upon made  for  the  south,  the  Princesa  stopping  at 
Monterey,  in  California,  to  recruit,  while  Haro  lin- 
gered for  a  time  round  the  islands  with  half  an  inten- 
tion to  do  something  more  toward  the  fulfilment  of 
the  orders  from  Mexico,  and  then  hurried  straight  to 
San  Bias  to  cover  faintheartedness  and  neglect  under 
the  plea  probably  that  the  knowledge  obtained  from 
Russians  of  their  doings  and  intentions,  and  of  the 
frequency  of  foreign  visits,  made  coast  exploration  less 
needful  under  the  circumstances,  while  it  was  above 
all  urgent  to  impart  the  news  to  the  governor.^ 

by  Haro,  whose  liking  for  the  commandant  was  greatly  influenced  by  the 
similarity  of  his  name,  in  its  original  Greek  form,  to  his  own. 

^^  Lighting  a  group  called  del  Fuegos,  the  Shumagin  Islands,  and  '  el  cabo 
donde  dijeron  los  rusos  de  Kodiac  que  habia  vn  establecimiento  de  55  indivi- 
duos  y  una  galeota  sobre  la  costa  firme  en  52°  20'.'  /(/.,  312;  but  this  must  be 
a  misunderstanding.  On  the  11th  they  anchored  off  an  island  recorded  as 
Kodiac,  and  on  the  16th  they  sight  the  active  volcano  on  Unimak. 

2' The  Princesa  entered  on  July  28th;  the  San  Carlos,  again  separated, 
rejoined  her  a  week  later.     There  were  120  men  at  this  place. 

^^On  reporting  the  despatch  of  the  present  expedition,  Viceroy  Flores 
expressed  himself  to  the  king  as  if  he  expected  that  Russians  would  have  to 

riDALGO'S  SURVEY.  273 

The  indiscreet  hint  of  Delarof  was  not  lost  at 
Mexico,  for  Viceroy  Flores  resolved  at  once  to  send 
back  Martinez  and  Haro  to  secure  Nootka,  at  least, 
from  Russian  and  other  intruders,  and  thence  to  ex- 
tend Spanish  settlement  if  the  king  should  so  direct. 
This  expedition,  and  the  momentous  question  to  which 
it  gave  rise,  have  been  fully  considered  in  my  History 
of  the  Northwest  Coast. 

While  in  occupation  of  Nootka  the  Spaniards  made 
several  exploring  tours,  and  one  of  these,  under  Lieu- 
tenant Salvador  Fidalgo,  was  directed  to  complete 
what  Martinez  had  left  undone  by  examining  the 
coast  from  latitude  60°  southward.  He  was  pro- 
vided with  Russian  and  English  interpreters.  He 
set  sail  from  Nootka  on  May  4,  1790,  in  the  paque- 
bot  Filipino,  and  entered  Prince  WilHam  Sound  on 
the  23d,  taking  the  vessel  into  the  nearest  large  bay 
on  the  eastern  side,  which  was  named  Menendez. 
After  exploring  its  shores  till  June  9th  he  proceeded 
northward,  naming  successively  the  bays  of  Gravina, 
Rivella  Gigedo,^"  Mazarredo,  and  Valdes.  After  more 
than  one  detention  from  fogs  and  gales  Fidalgo  passed 
round  to  Cook  Inlet  in  the  begining  of  July,  and 
was  piloted  into  Coal  Harbor  which  he  chose  to  name 
Puerto  de  Revilla  Gigedo.**' 

Learning  of  the  arrival  of  Billings'  expedition  at 
Kadiak  the  Spanish  commander  hastened  forth  on 
August  8th  to  meet  it,  but  came  too  late.  After  a 
short  interview  with  Delarof  he  turned  eastward  with 
a  view  to  reach  the  continental  coast  and  explore  it  a& 

be  ousted  by  force.  Id.,  291.     Bustamante  assumes  that  the  strength  of  the 
Russians  alone  kept  the  Spaniards  back.   Cavo,  TresSir/los,  iii.  148-9. 

^'  At  the  head  of  this  bay  the  movements  of  glaciers  was  attributed  to  an 
active  volcano  which  received  the  name  of  Fidalgo;  the  isle  at  the  entrance  to 
the  bay  was  called  del  Conde.  On  the  western  side  Port  Santiago  was  entered. 
The  north  end  of  the  sound  is  placed  in  61°  10'.  The  Indians  proved  very 
friendly,  assisting  both  with  provisions  and  labor. 

*"  Without  paying  attention  to  the  reports  of  previous  Spanish  explorers 
Fidalgo  caused  the  Cape  Elizabeth  of  Cook  to  be  explored  anew,  and  finding 
it  an  isle,  with  a  harbor  to  the  northeast,  he  applied  fresh  names.  Two  points 
to  the  west  and  north  in  the  inlet  were  called  Gaston  and  Cuadra.  Below 
Cape  Elizabeth  was  observed  Camacho  Island. 
Hist.  Alaska.    18 


far  as  Nootka,  but  the  wind  proved  unfavorable  and 
Fidalgo  became  fainthearted.  No  less  eager  than 
he  to  return  home,  the  council  of  officers  came  to  re- 
lieve his  conscience  by  declaring  that  the  coast  in  this 
latitude  could  not  be  followed  after  the  middle  of 
August,  owing  to  gales  and  dark  weather.  The  course 
was  thereupon  changed  for  Nootka,  but  a  storm  com- 
ing upon  them  off  this  place  they  passed  on  to  Mon- 
terey and  thence  to  San  Blas.^^ 

At  this  time  M.  Buache  of  Paris  had  undertaken 
to  defend  the  existence  of  the  interoceanic  passage  of 
Maldonado,*^  and  impressed  by  so  eminent  authority 
the  Spanish  government  resolved  to  investigate  the 
matter.  The  commission  was  entrusted  to  Alejandro 
Malaspina,  who  about  the  time  of  Fidalgo 's  return 
happened  to  arrive  at  Acapulco  in  command  of  the 
corvettes  Desciibierta  and  Atrevida,  on  a  scientific  ex- 
ploring tour  round  the  world.  He  accordingly  set  sail 
on  May  1,  1791,  and  on  June  23d  sighted  land  near 
Cape  Edgecumbe,  entering  shortly  after  Port  Mul- 
grave,  thence  to  explore  in  boats  for  Maldonado's  pas- 
sage, and  to  take  possession.  The  search  proved 
fruitless,^^  and  on  July  5th  he  proceeded  northward 
past  Kyak  Island  to  Prince  William  Sound.  After 
a  few  observations  in  this  quarter  he  turned  southward 
again;  contented  himself  with  a  mere  glance  at  Cross 
Sound  and  the  inlets  below,  and  entered  Nootka  to 
expend  his  main  efforts  on  a  recalculation  of  its  lati- 

*^  The  report  of  this  expedition,  including  descriptions  of  country,  natives, 
and  settlers,  is  given  in  Viajes al Norte,  MS.,  No.  8,  under  the  title  of  Viage 
del  x)aquehot '  Filipino '  mandado  par  el  teniente  de  navio  D.  Salvador  Fidalgo  del 
puerto  de  Nootha.  .  .para  los  reconocimientos  del  Principe  Guillermoy  rio  de 
Cook,  343-82.  Also  Tabla  que  manifesta,  in  the  same  collection,  No.  10; 
Bevilla  Gigedo,  In/orme,  140-1;  Navarrete,  Viages  Apdc,  64-6;  Id.,  in  Sutil  y 
Mexicana,  Viage,  cix.-xii.;  Cavo,  Tres  Siglos,  iii.  140. 

*^For  a  consideration  of  this  extraordinary  topic,  see  Hist.  Northwest 
Coast,  i.,  this  series. 

^^  The  bay  was  named  las  Bancas,  the  port  Desengaiio,  and  the  interior 
island  Haenke.  A  very  alluring  description  is  given  of  the  scenery  and  also 
of  natives,  despite  the  inconvenience  suffered  from  their  thieving  propensi- 


tude  and  longitude,  whereupon  he  turned  toward  New 

Malaspina's  report,  together  with  those  obtained 
from  Russian  and  other  navigators,  was  deemed  suffi- 
cient to  dissipate  the  behef  in  a  passage  north  of  Port 
Bucareh ;  but  from  this  point  down  a  careful  examina- 
tion appeared  to  be  advisable,  particularly  with  a  view 
to  test  the  claim  for  Admiral  Fonte's  discovery, 
which  was  now  eclipsing  that  of  Maldonado.  A  new 
expedition  accordingly  departed  in  1792  from  San 
Bias,  under  Lieutenant  Jacinto  Caamano,  command- 
ing the  fragata  Aranzazu.  After  leaving  at  Nootka 
certain  supplies  he  proceeded  on  June  13th  to  Port 
Bucareli,  exploring  in  that  vicinity  for  nearly  a  month 
without  arriving  at  any  solution  of  his  problem,  and 
then  turning  southward  to  examine  with  no  better 
result  Dixon  Strait  and  the  eastern  coast  of  the 
channel  dividing  Queen  Charlotte  Island  from  the 
main.  The  strait  he  sought  very  properly  to  name 
after  its  discoverer,  Perez.*^ 

Before  this,  in  1791,  the  French  were  again  repre- 
sented on  the  Northwest  Coast  in  the  person  of 
Etienne  Marchand,  captain  of  the  Solide,  who  had 
left  Marseilles  at  the  close  of  the  previous  year  on  a 
voyage  for  trade  and  circumnavigation.  He  first 
sighted  the  coast  at  Cape  Edgecumbe  on  August  7th, 
and  shortly  after  entered  Norfolk  Sound. ^"^  He  found 
the  natives  abundantly  supplied  with  European  goods, 
and  inclined  to  drive  hard  bargains  for  the  small  stock 
of  furs  left  in  their  hands,  so  that  bartering  was  not 
very  successful.     On  the  21st  he  proceeded  to  Queen 

*^Malaspina,  Viage  1791,  in  Navarrete,  Viages  Apdc,  96-S,  268-320; 
Navarrete,  \n.  Sutily  Mex.,  Viage,  cxii.-xxiii. 

*'"  The  main  features  of  this  exploration  have  been  considered  in  Hist. 
Northivest  Coast,  i.,  this  sei'ies.  Navarrete  and  others  are  at  fault  concern- 
ing the  dates  of  Caamauo's  movements.  The  exploration  of  Bucareli  oc- 
cupied him  from  June  25th.  On  July  20th  he  anchored  at  the  entrance  to 
Dixon  Strait.  A  short  distance  north  of  this  he  had  exammed  and  named  the 
harbor  of  Baylio  Bazan.  Caamano,  Exped.,  Aranzazu,  in  Col.  Doc.  hied.,  xv. 
323-63;  Navarrete,  in  Sutil  y  Mex.,  Viage,  cxxiu.-xxxi.;  Revilla  Gigedo,  In- 
forme,  12  de  Abril,  1793,  144;  Cavo,  Tres  Siglos,  iii.  144. 

*^  For  these  places  the  Spanish  names  are  used.  The  Indians  called  the 
sound  Tchinkltan6. 


Charlotte  Island,  where  his  most  valuable  explora- 
tions were  made  during  a  vain  effort  to  find  better 
trade/^  Several  other  traders  visited  the  southern 
shores  of  Alaska  during  these  and  following  years, 
but  the  few  records  left  of  their  movements  concern 
chiefly  my  History  of  the  Northwest  Coast,  to  which  I 
refer  the  reader  for  text  as  well  as  maps. 

The  result  of  the  Nootka  controversy,  brought 
about  by  hast}^  action  of  the  Spaniards,  as  well  as  the 
belief  in  an  interoceanic  passage,  revived  by  Buache 
and  others,  and  supported  by  the  revelation  of  numer- 
ous channels  all  along  the  Northwest  Coast,  deter- 
mined the  English  government  to  send  an  expedition 
to  this  region.  The  explorations  of  Cook  west  and 
north  of  latitude  60°  were  deemed  conclusive,  but  be- 
low this  point  they  required  to  be  completed  and  veri- 
fied. This  commission  was  entrusted  to  George 
Vancouver,  who  departed  from  England  in  April 
1791  in  the  sloop  Discovery  of  twenty  guns,  accom- 
panied by  the  tender  Chatham  of  ten  guns,  under 
Lieutenant  W.  R.  Broughton.  The  year  1792  was 
spent  in  explorations  south  of  the  Alaska  line,  but  in 
July  1793  the  expedition  reached  the  entrance  of  Port- 
land Inlet  and  sent  boats  to  examine  its  two  branches. 
The  dawning  hope  of  here  finding  Fonte's  passage  was 
quickly  dissipated,  and  the  boats  proceeded  north- 
ward through  Behm  Canal.  On  descending  its  south- 
western turn  along  Revilla  Gigedo  Island,  as  it  was 
now  shown  to  be,  Vancouver  had  a  narrow  escape 
from  a  party  of  natives  who  attacked  his  boat  with 
muskets  and  other  weapons.  The  prompt  appearance 
of  the  second  boat  changed  the  turn  of  afifairs.  The 
party  now  passed  into  Duke  of  Clarence  Strait — named 
by  Caamano  after  Admiral  Fonte — and  returned  to 
the  ships.^^ 

"  As  related  in  Hist.  Northu-est  Coast,  i.,  this  series.  Marchand,  Voyage  au- 
tour  du  Monde,  i.  288-92;  ii.  1  et  scq.  The  natives  of  Norfolk  Sound  are  spoken 
of  as  extremely  immoral. 

**The  names  applied  on  the  map  along  this  tour  are  Portland  Inlet  and  its 


These  proceeded  August  l7th  up  the  last  named 
strait  to  Port  Protection  on  the  north  end  of  Prince 
of  Wales  Island,  which  was  reached  Septeniber  8th, 
after  an  intermediate  stay  at  Port  Stewart.  The 
boats  meanwhile  explored  past  Cape  Caamano,  the 
highest  point  reached  by  the  Spanish  explorer  of  this 
name,  and  up  Prince  Ernest  Sound  round  Duke  of 
York  Island,  which  later  discoveries  dissolved  into  a 
group.  The  mouth  of  the  Stikeen  was  observed,  but 
not  as  the  outlet  of  a  large  stream.*"  The  season 
now  well  advanced,  it  was  resolved  to  terminate  the 
extensive  surveys  for  the  season  and  seek  a  well  earned 
rest  in  sunnier  latitudes. 

Vancouver  congratulated  himself  that  "  there  would 
no  longer  remain  a  doubt  as  to  the  extent  or  the  fal- 
lacy of  the  pretended  discoveries  said  to  have  been 
made  by  De  Fuca  and  De  Fonte."  He  had  demon- 
strated that  the  continent,  with  a  range  of  mountains 
broken  by  rivers  alone,  extended  from  Columbia  Piver 
to  beyond  the  northern  extreme  of  Prince  of  Wales 
Island.  To  the  part  of  the  main  below  Pitt  Archi- 
pelago he  applied  the  names  of  New  Hanover  and 
New  Georgia;  thence  to  the  northern  line  of  the 
present  survey,  New  Cornwall. 

On  the  21st  of  September  the  vessels  left  Port 
Protection,  and  passed  Port  Bucareli,  southward  by 
way  of  Nootka  and  California  to  the  Hawaiian  Islands, 
there  to  winter.    On  March  15, 1794,  sails  were  again 

two  branches,  Portland  Canal  and  Observatory  Inlet,  the  latter  examined 
shortly  before  by  Mr  Brown  of  the  Butterworth;  Bocas  de  Quadra;  Behm 
Canal,  m  honor  of  the  Kamchatkan  governor  who  showed  attention  to  Cook's 
expedition  in  1779;  the  points  at  its  entrance  were  called  Sykes  and  Alava, 
the  latter  after  the  commandant  at  Nootka.  Along  this  canal:  New  Eddy- 
stone  rock — resembling  a  lighthouse — Walker  Cove,  Burrough  Bay,  Traitor 
Cove — to  commemorate  the  attack  by  natives — Port  Stewart  and  Beaton 
Island;  Point  Vallenar,  the  north  end  of  Gravlna  Island,  and  Cape  Northum- 
berland, its  south  point,  besides  a  number  of  intermediate  promontories. 

*^  Along  the  east  side  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island  and  its  adjoining  parts 
are  marked  Moira  Sound,  Wedge  Island,  Cholmondeley  Sound,  Port  Grin- 
dall.  The  entrance  to  Prince  Ernest  Sound  is  marked  by  points  Onslow  and 
Le  Mesurier,  and  along  its  course  are  Bradfield  Canal,  and  Duncan  Canal. 
Along  the  western  extension  of  Duke  of  Clarence  Strait,  Point  Baker  forming 
the  north  end  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island,  Conclusion  Island,  and  Affleck 
■Canal;  below  lie  Coronation  and  Warren  Islands,  the  latter  facing  Cape  Pole. 


set  for  the  north,  and  on  April  5th  Trinity  Island  was 
sighted.^"  Seven  days  later  the  Discovery  entered 
Cook  Inlet  and  proceeded  northward  to  its  very  head. 
Finding  that  it  was  not  the  mouth  of  a  large  river  as 
Cook  had  supposed,  a  fact  well  known  to  the  Russians, 
Vancouver  changed  the  name  to  its  present  form. 
The  Chatham  having  arrived,  both  vessels  visited  the 
factory  half  way  up  the  inlet  in  charge  of  Zaikof,^^ 
and  rounded  Cape  Elizabeth  May  14th,  en  route  for 
Prince  William  Sound,  where  anchor  was  cast  in  Port 
Chalmers  on  the  west  side  of  Montague  Island.  Boats 
were  now  sent  out  to  examine  the  sonnd  and  adjoining 
lands,  and  the  Chatham  proceeded  to  survey  the  main 
coast  to  Yakutat  Bay,  there  to  await  the  Discovery. 
The  survey  of  the  sound  resulted  in  a  number  of 
corrections,  notably  on  the  maps  of  Cook,  yet  Spanish 
and  other  existing  nomenclature  was  as  a  rule  main- 
tained. Aid  was  also  obtained  from  Russian  material 
from  which  source  the  configuration  of  Kadiak  Island 
and  the  region  westward  had  to  be  adopted.^'  The 
Russians  under  Baranof,  who  resided  on  Kadiak  and 
controlled  chiefly  establishments  along  the  sea  border, 
observed  greater  reticence,  as  noticed  in  connection 
with  Ismailof's  exploration;  but  those  of  the  other 
company,  occupying  Cook  Inlet  and  Hinchinbrook 
Island,  were  more  communicative.  They  admitted 
that  the  easternmost  factory  was  on  this  island, 
though  trading  expeditions  roamed  beyond  toward 
Nootka.  The  total  force  employed  was  about  four 
hundred,  independent  of  native  employes.     The  abo- 

^°  On  the  3d  Akamok  Island  was  sighted  and  named  after  Chirikof. 

"  A  smaller  factory  existed  higher  up  on  the  opposite  western  side.  Alex- 
androvsk  escaped  observation.  Names  weie  applied  to  several  points  along 
the  coasts  and  at  the  head,  and  the  harbor  at  Cape  Elizabeth  was  renamed 
Port  Chatham.  The  portage  from  Turn-again  Arm  to  Prince  William  Sound 
was  noticed. 

^2  Among  the  names  added  to  the  Sound  chart,  were  Port  Bainbridge, 
Passage  Canal,  and  Port  Wells,  where  the  supposed  volcano  of  the  Spanish 
expedition  is  referred  to  merely  as  a  moving  glacier.  One  of  the  inlets  re- 
ceived tlie  name  of  Fidalgo,  to  commemorate  his  exploration.  The  island 
north-east  of  Hinchuibrook  was  called  Hawkins.  Copper  River  received  no 
place  on  the  chart.  The  w  aters  of  the  sound  were  found  to  have  encroached 
rapidly  on  tlie  shore  line  during  the  past  decade. 


riginal  population  appeared  exceedingly  scanty,  espe- 
cially on  the  sound.  Vancouver  "clearly  understood 
that  the  Russian  government  had  little  to.  do  with 
these  settlements;  that  they  were  solely  under  the 
direction  and  support  of  independent  mercantile  com- 
panies," whose  members  appeared  to  live  highly  con- 
tented among  the  natives,  exercising  over  them  an 
influence  due  not  to  fear  but  to  affection,  and  fostered 
by  training  the  children  in  the  Russian  language  and 
customs. ^^ 

The  Discovery  left  the  sound  June  20th  to  join  the 
consort  vessel,^*  which  was  observed  in  Yakutat  Bay 
and  instructed  to  follow.  This  bay  was  named  after 
Bering  '4rom  a  conviction  of  its  being  the  place  that 
Beering  had  visited." ^^  A  Russian  party  under  Pur- 
tof,  with  nearly  a  thousand  natives  from  Kadiak  and 
Cook  Inlet,  hunted  here  at  the  time,  though  amidst 
many  apprehensions,  owing  to  the  rather  unfriendly 
attitude  of  the  inhabitants.  Near  by  appeared  the 
Jackall,  Captain  Brown,  cruising  along  this  coast  for 
the  third  consecutive  season. ^^ 

Cross  Sound  was  entered  on  July  7th,  and  anchor 
cast  in  Port  Althorp,  on  the  north  end  of  Chichagof 
Island,  called  after  King  George  by  Vancouver.  From 
here  a  boat  explored  Lynn  CanaP'  which  almost 
touches  the  headwaters   of  the  mighty  Yukon,  and 

*^  Vancouver's  Voy.,  iii.  199-201.  The  natives  of  the  sound  were  not  so 
docile,  yet  hardly  less  trusted  by  the  Russians.  This  assimilation  of  the  two 
peoples  must  give  the  Russians  a  decided  'advantage  over  all  other  civilized 
nations '  for  controlling  trade. 

^*  Cape  St  Elias  of  Kyak  Island  was  renamed  Cape  Hamond;  and  lower 
on  the  coast  names  were  applied  to  several  points. 

5^  The  Bering  Bay  as  located  by  Cook  was  voted  a  mistake.  While  apply- 
ing this  name  to  Yakutat,  Mulgrave  was  retained  for  the  harbor  on  its  south 
shore.  The  points  at  the  entrance  to  the  bay  received  the  names  Mauby  and 
Phipps.  Port  des  Franpais  was  missed.  As  the  Chatham  was  leaving  Kyak 
Island  a  letter  came  from  Shields,  the  English  shipbuilder  employed  by  Sheli- 
kof,  offering  his  services.  It  was  too  late  to  turn  back  for  an  interview  with 

5^  Brown  had  sent  the  Butterivorfh,  his  leading  vessel,  to  England  in  1793, 
coming  to  this  coast  in  the  tenders  Jackall  and  Prince  le  Boo.  He  now  turned 
for  Cross  Sound,  with  whose  inlets  he  was  well  acquainted.  Id.,  207. 

^~'  So  named  after  Vancouver's  birth-place  in  Norfolk.  Berners  Bay,  Hood 
Bay,  Port  Frederick,  and  a  number  of  capes  were  named,  notably  capes  Spen- 
cer and  Cross  at  the  entrance  of  Cross  Sound. 


thence  Chatham  Strait  for  a  distance,  but  the  large 
Glacier  Bay  escaped  observation,  although  it  almost 
faces  the  anchorage.  The  Arthur,  Captain  Barber, 
from  Bengal,  appeared  here  at  the  time,  and  out  of 
consideration  for  the  trader  Vancouver  stopped  all 
dealing  in  furs  by  his  own  men.  On  August  1st 
the  vessels  anchored  in  Port  Conclusion,  inside  Cape 
Ommandy  at  the  south  end  of  Baranof  Island,^  thence 
to  complete  the  survey  to  the  line  of  the  preceding 
season.  Lieutenant  Whidbey  passed  up  Stephens 
Passage,  which  encloses  Admiralty  Island,  and  then 
down  into  the  southern  arm  of  Prince  Frederick 
Sound,  where  he  met  Master  Johnstone,  the  other 
boat  explorer,  who  had  examined  Koo  and  Kuprianof 
Island.  Amid  rousing  cheers  the  combined  crews  cele- 
brated the  conclusion  of  their  task,  the  exploration  of 
the  Northwest  Coast  for  a  passage. ^^ 

Vancouver  had  achieved  a  veritable  triumph.  He 
h:ad  left  England  on  the  1st  of  April,  as  he  observes, 
on  a  fool's  errand,  to  search  for  an  interoceanic  passage 
south  of  latitude  60°.  The  explorations  and  inter- 
course of  the  Russians  with  the  natives  had  long  since 
made  them  regard  the  passage  as  a  myth,  and  the 
expedition  ^vas  by  them  invested  almost  wholly  with 
political  aims.^'' 

Failing  in  his  quest,  Vancouver  at  any  rate  was 
able  to  "remove  every  doubt,  and  set  aside  every 
opinion  of  a  north-west  passage,  or  any  water  com- 
munication navigable  for  shipping,  existing  within  the 
north  Pacific,  and  the  interior  of  the  American  conti- 

5*  Comprised  by  Vancouver  in  King  George  III.  Archipelago,  the  shore 
line  of  which  was  not  closely  marked. 

^'  Much  valuable  inforaiation  was  obtained  from  Captain  Brown  of  the 
Jaclxdl,  who  had  navigated  these  inlets  for  some  time.  He  reported  the  sea- 
otter  skins  of  this  quarter  to  be  exceedingly  fine.  Among  the  places  named 
on  this  route  are  Seymor  Canal,  Douglas  Island,  ports  Snettisham  and  Hough- 
ton, Holkham  Bay,  ports  Camden  and  Malmesbury.  Kuprianof  Island  was 
classed  as  a  peninsula  owing  to  certain  shallows  which  seemed  to  connect  it 
with  the  main. 

*"The  exploration  being  a  pretext  for  taking  possession,  as  Zaikof  expresses 
it.  Journal,  in  Sitka  Archives,  MS.,  vi.  See  also  Tikhmenef,  Istor.,  ii.,  and 
Nordische  Beitrdye. 


nent,  within  the  hmits  of  our  researches. "^^  In  taking 
possession  for  England  he  stretched  the  hne  only,  to 
Cape  Spencer,  in  Cross  Sound,  a  moderation  which 
the  Russians  could  scarcely  have  expected.*^^  This 
additional  territory,  north  of  New  Cornwall,  was  called 
New  Norfolk,  after  his  native  county.  It  is  to  be 
observed  that  he  generally  respected  the  names  ap- 
plied by  traders  or  foreign  officials,  while  adding  a 
mass  of  new  ones,  and  the  nomenclature  in  his  charts 
has  even  in  Alaska  met  with  considerable  attention. 
On  August  24,  1794,  the  expedition  left  Christian 
Sound  for  Nootka,  and  thence  by  way  of  California 
and  Cape  Horn  for  England,  where  it  arrived  in  Sep- 
tember the  following  year.^^ 

*i  To  this  end  he  had  made  surveys  far  more  thorough  than  were  demanded 
in  his  instructions,  yet  he  felt  confident  that  they  would  be  approved.  Van- 
converts   Voy.,  joassim. 

^^  For  the  officers  at  the  factories  left  him  the  impression  that  '  the  Amer- 
ican continent  and  adjacent  islands,  as  far  to  the  eastward  at  the  meridian  of 
Kayes  Island,  belonged  exclusively  to  the  Russian  empire.'  Id.,  iii.  115,  285. 
He  evidently  believed  that  they  claimed  beyond  tliat,  however,  and  the  gov- 
ernment certainly  did,  as  will  be  seen.  Vancouver  foimd  that  the  cross 
erected  by  Fidalgo  on  Hinchinbrook  Island  when  taking  possession  had  been 
respected,  notwithstanding  the  royal  name  inscribed.  Id.,  171.  The  marks 
left  by  King  in  Cook  Inlet  could  not  be  found. 

*^  During  the  five  years'  voyage  the  Discovery  lost  only  5  men  by  accidents 
and  one  from  disease,  out  of  100  men,  while  the  consort  lost  not  a  single  man. 
a  result  for  which  the  commanders  cannot  be  too  highly  praised.  For  bibli- 
ography and  other  features  in  connection  with  this  expedition,  see  Hist. 
Northwest  Coast,  i.  this  ; 




Flattering  Prospects — Costly  Outfit — The  Usual  Years  of  Prepara- 
tion— An  Expectant  World  to  be  Enlightened — Gathering  of 
the  Expedition  at  Kamchatka^Divers  Winterings  and  Ship-build- 
ing—Preliminary  Surveys  North  and  South — At  Unalaska  and 
ELadiak — Russian  Rewards — Periodic  Promotion  of  Billings — At 
St  Lawrence  Island — Billings'  Land  Journey — Wretched  Condi- 
tion OF  Russian  Hunters — End  of  the  Tribute  System — Result 
OF  the  Expedition — Sarychef's  Surveys — Shelikof's  Duplicity — 
Priestly  Performance. 

The  most  promising  of  all  scientific  exploring  expe- 
ditions undertaken  by  the  Russian  government  for 
the  acquisition  of  a  more  perfect  knowledge  of  its 
new  possessions  in  Asia  and  America  was  that  com- 
manded by  Captain  Joseph  Billings,  an  Englishman 
who  had  served  under  Cook.  The  enterprise  was 
stimulated  by  the  report  of  La  Perouse's  departure 
upon  a  similar  errand.  The  empress  issued  an  oukaz 
on  the  8th  of  August  1785,  appointing  Billings  to 
the  command  of  "A  Secret  Astronomical  and  Geo- 
graphical Expedition  for  navigating  the  Frozen  Sea, 
describing  its  Coasts,  and  ascertaining  the  Situation 
of  the  Islands  in  the  Seas  between  the  two  Continents 
of  Asia  and  America."^ 

The  senate  and  admiralty  college  confirmed  and 
supplemented  the  appointments,  and  in  September 
Lieutenant  Sarychef  of  the  navy  was  despatched  to 
the  port  of  Okhotsk  with  a  party  of  ship-builders, 
under  orders  to  construct  two  vessels  in  accordance 

^Sauer^a  Oeog.  and  Astron.  Exped.,  1, 


with  plans  furnished  by  another  Englishman,  Mr 
Lamb  Yeames.  The  governor  general  of  Irkutsk 
and  Kolivansk  had  received  instructions  to  furnish 
the  necessary  material. 

Captain  Billings  set  out  upon  his  journey  a  few 
weeks  later,  accompanied  by  Lieutenant  Hall,  Sur- 
geon Robeck,  Master  Batakof  of  the  navy,  and  Mar- 
tin Sauer,  secretary  of  the  expedition.^ 

The  party  did  not  leave  Irkutsk  until  the  9th  of 
May  1786.  Two  medical  oflScers  and  naturalists 
were  added  at  the  last  moment — a  German,  Dr. 
Merck,  with  an  English  assistant,  John  Main, 

On  the  29th  the  expedition  arrived  at  Yakutsk, 
where  the  necessary  arrangements  had  been  made  for 
supplies  of  provisions  and  stores  and  the  required 
means  of  transportation  for  the  different  divisions  to 
the  mouth  of  the  Kovima  or  Kolima  river  and  to 
Okhotsk.  Lieutenant  Hall  was  in  command  of  the 
latter  and  Lieutenant  Bering  of  the  former.  Lieuten- 
ant Hall's  division  arrived  at  Okhotsk  soon  after  Bil- 
lings and  a  few  attendants  had  reached  that  seaport 
on  the  3d  of  July.  As  it  was  found  that  more  time 
would  be  consumed  in  building  the  ships  than  had 
been  expected,  Billings  took  some  steps  with  a  view 
of  visiting  the  Chukchi  country  first,  and  to  that 
end  placed  himself  in  communication  with  Captain 
Shmalef  who  was  much  respected  by  both  Kamchat- 
kans  and  Chukchi.  On  the  3d  of  August  all  the 
officers,  with  the  exception  of  Lieutenant  Hall,  set 

"^  Sauer  gives  the  personnel  of  the  expedition,  as  it  departed  from  St  Peters- 
burg, as  follows:  Joseph  Billings,  commander;  lieutenants,  Robert  Hall,  Ga\Til 
Sarychef,  and  Christian  Bering,  a  nephew  of  Vitus  Bering;  Master  Afanassia 
Bakof,  rigger  and  store-keeper;  masters  Anton  Batkhof  and  Sergei  Bronnikof ; 
surgeons,  Michael  Robeck  and  Peter  Allegretti;  draughtsman,  Luka  Varonin; 
one  mechanician,  two  ship-builders,  two  surgeon's  mates,  one  master's  mate; 
one  boatswain;  three  'court  hunters'  for  stufl&ng  birds,  etc. ;  eight  petty  officers, 
seven  soldiers,  riflemen,  and  Martin  Sauer  as  private  secretary  and  journalist. 
At  Irkutsk  the  following  additions  were  made:  two  Russian  book-keepers  and 
accountants,  Vassily  Diakonof  and  Feodor  Karpof ;  Lieutenant  Polossof  of  the 
army,  who  was  acquainted  with  the  Chukchi  language;  six  petty  officers  from 
the  school  of  navigation  at  Irkutsk;  three  men  who  understood  the  construc- 
tion of  skin  boats;  one  turner,  one  locksmith;  fifty  Cossacks  commanded  by 
a  sotnik;  two  drummers — in  all  69  men  in  addition  to  the  36  from  St  Peters- 
burg. Id.,  12,  13. 


out  for  the  Kovima  River,  the  last  named  taking  the 
place  of  Lieutenant  Sarychef  in  superintending  the 
construction  of  the  ships.  Toward  the  end  of  Sep- 
tember Billings  and  his  party  arrived  at  Verkhnoi 
Kovima,  but  only  to  find  that  winter  had  alread}^  set 
in  with  great  severity,  and  to  meet  with  almost  insur- 
mountable difficulties  in  obtaining  shelter  and  sup- 
plies. The  sufferings  during  the  winter  were  very 
great  on  account  of  the  extreme  cold  as  well  as  the 
scarcity  of  provisions;  but  better  times  came  with 

The  work  of  preparing  for  the  northward  trip  was 
never  relaxed,  and  on  the  25th  of  Ma}^  1787  the  main 
body  of  the  expedition  set  out  on  two  vessels  which 
had  been  constructed  during  the  winter,  the  Pallas 
and  the  YasatchnoL  Near  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Captain  Shmalef  was  found  awaiting  them  with  some 
guides  and  interpreters  and  a  large  quantity  of  dried 
reindeer  meat.  The  ostrog  Nishnekovima  was  reached 
on  the  l7th  of  June.  There  more  deer-meat  was  pro- 
cured and  then  the  expedition  passed  on  into  the 

They  steered  eastward  and  on  the  21st  of  June 
reached  the  place  where  Shalanrof  had  perished  in 
1762.  A  cross  marked  the  spot,  and  another  was 
found  near  the  remains  of  huts  erected  by  Laptief 
and  his  party  in  1739.  Their  progress  was  continued 
with  many  interruptions  until  the  25th  of  July,  when 
an  observation  showed  latitude  69°  35'  56",  longitude, 
168°  54',  and  Billings  concluded  to  give  up  all  further 
attempts  and  i^eturn  to  Nishnekovima.* 

When  the  party  arrived  at  Yakutsk  it  was  found 

*  In  accordance  with  the  imperial  oukaz  Billings  here  assumed  the  rank  of 
a  fleet  captain  of  the  second  class,  the  necessary  oath  being  administered  by 
a  priest  brought  for  that  purpose.  Id. ,  G9-70. 

*  Sauer  and  many  of  the  officers  were  of  the  opinion  that  everything  looked 
favorable  for  a  passage  into  the  Pacitic.  Captain  Sarychef  even  offered  to 
undertake  the  enterprise  in  an  open  bidar,  with  six  men,  intending  to  camp 
on  the  beach  every  night,  Imt  Billings  was  deaf  to  all  entreaties  and  con- 
tented himself  with  inducing  a  majority  of  his  officers  to  sign  a  statement 
that  it  would  be  wiser  to  return  to  the  Kovima.  Id.,  77-8. 


that  a  large  quantity  of  the  most  important  stores 
was  still  awaiting  transportation  at  Irkutsk,  necessi- 
tating a  journey  to  that  city  on  the  part  of  Billings 
and  several  of  his  officers.  This  little  excursion 
delayed  the  expedition  till  September  1788,  when  the 
greater  part  of  the  command  was  once  more  assembled 
at  Okhotsk.  The  first  and  largest  of  the  two  vessels 
destined  for  the  voyage  was  not  launched  until  the 
following  July.  She  was  named  the  Slava  Rossie, 
Glory  of  Kussia.  The  second  ship,  the  D,ohraia  Na- 
merenia,  Good  Intent,  was  launched  in  August,  but 
was  wrecked  while  attempting  to  cross  the  bar  at 
Okhotsk.  In  order  to  get  quickly  at  the  iron  work 
with  which  to  build  a  new  vessel  the  hull  of  the 
Namerenia  was  burned.^  On  the  19th  of  September 
the  Slava  Rossie  sailed  at  last  and  arrived  at  Petro- 
pavlovsk  on  the  1st  of  October.  Here  the  ship  was 
unrigged  and  the  whole  party  went  into  winter- 
quarters  to  await  the  arrival  of  a  store-ship  with 
supplies  in  the  spring. 

Early  in  March  1790  additional  news  arrived, 
warning  Billings  of  the  presence  of  a  Swedish  cruiser, 
the  Mercury,  Captain  Coxe,  with  sixteen  guns,  in  the 
waters  he  was  about  to  navigate.*^  The  Slava  Rossie 
mounted  sixteen  brass  guns,  but  they  were  only 
three-pounders.  Despite  the  apprehension  created, 
no  change  was  made  in  the  plans. 

On  the  1st  of  May  the  whole  expedition  embarked 
and  stood  out  to  sea  on  an  easterly  course.  The  voy- 
age was  tedious,  no  land  being  sighted  till  the  2 2d, 
when  the  island  of  Amchitka  appeared  in  the  north. 
On   the    1st  of  June   the    island  of  Unalaska  was 

^  On  the  14th  of  September  a  courier  arrived  from  Russia  with  intelligence 
which  almost  put  an  end  to  further  progress  of  the  expedition.  War  had 
broken  out  with  Sweden,  and  the  Russian  government  was  much  in  want  of 
money  and  naval  officers.  Id.,  143. 

^  Pribylof  reported  that  the  Swedish  cruiser  mentioned  in  Billings'  instruc- 
tions had  actually  visited  the  Aleutian  Islands  during  the  summer,  but  in  view 
of  the  abject  misery  and  privations  in  which  he  found  the  Russian  traders  living, 
the  humane  Captain  Coxe  abstained  from  hostilities  and  even  made  Pribylof, 
whom  he  had  questioned  concerning  the  Russian  establishments,  very  accept- 
able presents  of  bread,  brandy,  some  clothing,  and  a  quadrant.  Id.,  212. 


made,  and  on  the  3d  some  natives  came  on  board, 
followed  in  the  afternoon  by  a  Russian  in  an  eight- 
oar  bidar.  The  latter  conducted  the  vessel  into  Bob- 
rovoi  (Beaver)  Bay.  Here  a  supply  of  water  and 
ballast  was  procured  and  on  the  13th  of  June  the 
expedition  sailed  again  to  the  north-east  and  north/ 

In  a  few  days  Sannakh  and  the  Shumagin  Island 
were  reached/  where  the  Slava  Rossie  was  visited  by 
a  large  party  of  Aleuts  who  were  hunting  for  the 
Panof  company  under  superintendence  of  a  Bussian. 
On  the  26th  of  June  a  Bussian  boarded  the  ship;  he 
was  accompanied  by  two  hundred  natives  and  came 
from  Shelikof  s  establishment  on  Kadiak  Island.  On 
the  29th  the  expedition  arrived  in  Trekh  Sviatiteli,  or 
Three  Saints  Harbor,  the  site  of  the  first  permanent 
settlement  on  the  island.  Eustrate  Ivanovich  Delarof 
was  then  in  command  of  the  colony.  He  told  Sauer 
that  he  had  despatched  that  year  six  hundred  double 
bidarkas,  each  manned  by  two  or  three  natives,  to 
hunt  sea-otters,  sea-lions,  and  fur-seal;  they  were 
divided  into  six  parties,  each  in  charge  of  a  Bussian 

The  establishment  at  that  time  consisted  of  about 
fifty  Bussians,  including  officers  of  the  company  and 
Master  Ismailof,  the  same  whom  Cook  met  at  Una- 
laska  in  1778.  He  was  stationed  at  Three  Saints 
to  look  after  the  interests  of  the  government.  The 
buildings  numbered  five  of  Bussian  construction,  the 
barracks,  offices,  and  counting-house,  besides  store- 
houses, blacksmith,  carpenter,  and  cooper  shops,  and 
a  ropewalk.     Two  vessels  of  about  eighty  tons  each 

'  Sauer  states  that  the  Russians  then  on  that  part  of  the  island  belonged 
to  Cherepanof  s  company,  who  had  resided  there  eight  years  and  expected  to 
be  relieved  that  season  by  a  party  from  Okhotsk.  The  author  dwells  upon 
the  cruel  treatment  of  the  Aleuts  at  the  hands  of  the  ignorant  and  overbear- 
ing promyshleniki.  /cZ.,  150-GI. 

''  Though  writing  soon  after  Bering's  and  Steller's  reports  were  published, 
Sauer  states  that  these  islands  received  their  name  from  the  '  discoverer,  a 
Russian  sailor  of  Bering's  expedition.'  The  poor  fellow  did  nothing  beyond 
dying  of  scurvy  in  that  neighborhood. 

'  JuvenaVs  Jour. ,  MS. ,  1  et  seq.  Sauer  bestows  the  highest  praise  upon  the 
strict  justice  and  humanity  with  which  Delarof  managed  the  affairs  of  the 
colony.  Sauer' s  Oeog.  and  Astron.  Exped,,  170-1. 


stood  upon  the  beach,  armed  and  well  guarded,  serv- 
ing as  a  place  of  refuge  in  case  of  attack.  Several 
gardens  planted  with  cabbage  and  potatoes,  and  some 
cows  and  goats,  added  to  the  comfort  of  the  settlers.^*' 

In  the  report  of  Billings'  visit  to  Kadiak  mention 
is  made  of  the  water-route  across  the  Alaska  peninsula 
by  way  of  Iliamna  Lake.  The  natives  persisted  in 
calling  the  peninsula  an  island,  kikhtak,  because  they 
could  pass  in  their  canoes,  without  portage,  from  She- 
likof  Strait  into  Bristol  Bay,  their  main  source  for 
supplies  of  walrus  ivory  for  spear-heads,  fish-hooks, 
and  various  implements. 

The  astronomical  tent,  and  another  constituting  a 
portable  church,  had  been  pitched  as  soon  as  the  ex- 
pedition arrived,  and  remained  standing  till  the  6th 
of  July,  when  the  Slava  Rossie  once  more  set  sail. 
Delarof  accompanied  Billings  for  the  purpose  of  visit- 
ing a  Spanish  frigate  reported  by  the  natives  to  be 
cruising  at  the  mouth  of  Cook  Inlet."  The  com- 
mander of  the  expedition  also  intended  to  visit  the 
Spanish  ship,  but  the  wind  was  unfavorable,  and  by 
the  8th  of  July  they  had  only  reached  the  island  of 
Afognak  where  a  settlement  had  already  existed.  On 
the  12th  of  July,  in  the  neighborhood  of  Barren 
Islands,  Delarof  left  the  Slava  Rossie  in  a  canoe, 
giving  up  all  hope  of  reaching  Cook's  Inlet  with  the 
ship.  He  was  intrusted  with  messages  for  the  Span- 
iards and  the  vessel  was  headed  for  Prince  William 

On  the  19th  of  July  the  Slava  Rossie  was  anchored 

^°  During  the  stay  of  the  Slava  Rossie  at  Three  Saints  Bay  one  of  the  officers 
of  the  company  applied  to  the  priest  accompanying  the  expedition  to  baptize  a 
native  woman  with  whom  he  had  been  living  several  years  and  had  children; 
they  were  then  formally  married,  and  Sauer  speaks  with  much  satisfaction  of 
the  excellent  manner  in  which  their  household  affairs  were  managed.  From 
the  promyshleniki  and  sailors  in  employ  of  the  company  much  complaint 
was  heard  of  the  high  prices  they  were  obliged  to  pay  the  company  for  the 
very  necessaries  of  life,  making  it  almost  impossible  to  live  without  becoming 
indebted  to  their  employers.  Id.,  1/3. 

^^  On  this  occasion  Sauer  makes  an  evidently  erroneous  statement  to  the 
effect  that  he  was  informed  the  Spaniards  were  in  the  habit  of  visiting  the 
Russian  settlements  annually,  exchanging  provisions  and  sea-otter  skins  for 
hardware  and  linen.  Id.,  184j  Juvenal's  Jour.,  MS.,  50  et  seq. 


in  the  same  bay  of  Montague  or  Tzaklie  Island  where 
Cook  passed  some  time  in  1778.  The  astronomical 
tent  was  at  once  erected  on  shore  under  a  sufficient 
guard,  while  boat  parties  set  out  to  explore.  The 
natives  were  quite  peaceable  in  view  of  the  formidable 
armament  of  the  Slava  Rossie,  but  they  made  bitter 
complaints  against  Russian  traders  who  had  formerly 
visited  them,  especially  the  party  under  Polutof  in 
1783.  They  were  assured  that  they  need  not  appre- 
hend any  ill-treatment  from  government  vessels  car- 
ryino'  the  same  flag^  as  the  Slava  Rossie.  It  was  found 
necessary,  however,  to  exercise  the  greatest  vigilance 
to  prevent  them  from  stealing.^^ 

While  at  this  anchorage,  Captain  Billings,  who 
thought  he  had  reached  the  Cape  St  Elias  discovered 
by  Bering,  assumed,  in  accordance  with  his  instruc- 
tions, an  additional  rank,  the  customary,  oath  being 
administered  by  the  priest  attached  to  the  expedition. 
Sauer  ridiculed  this  theory  and  located  Cape  St  Elias 
to  his  own  satisfaction  on  Kaye  Island. 

Lieutenant  Sarychef  went  out  with  a  boat's  crew, 
and  during  an  absence  of  three  days  he  met  several 
parties  of  natives  and  saw  the  cross  erected  by  Zaikof 
under  Shelikof's  order.  On  one  occasion  the  crafty 
natives  endeavored  to  entice  him  into  a  shallow  chan- 
nel where  his  boat  would  be  left  grounded  by  the  tide 
and  his  party  exposed  to  attack.  The  device  did  not 
succeed,  however,  and  Sarychef  heard  of  the  danger 
he  had  escaped  only  after  his  return  to  Okhotsk,  from 
the  Aleut  interpreter.  After  Sarychef's  return  to 
the  ship  a  very  old  native  came  on  board  and  stated 
that  his  home  was  on  Kaye  Island  which  he  plainly 
described.     With  regard  to  the  number  and  nation- 

^^  Sauer  states  that  on  one  occasion,  when  Billings  entertained  some  of  the 
natives  in  his  tent  on  shore,  the  servant  set  down  a  tray  in  such  a  manner 
that  a  comer  of  it,  containing  some  spoons,  protruded  from  under  the  canvas. 
One  of  the  natives  attempted  to  appropriate  the  spoons,  but  a  water-spaniel 
lying  in  the  tent  sprang  at  him,  seized  the  hand  holding  the  plunder,  and  held 
the  thief  until  ordered  to  relinquish  his  hold — a  circumstance  which,  in  Sauer's 
opinion,  thereafter  'kept  them  (the  natives)  honest  afterwards  in  the  dog's, 
presence.'  Sauer's  Geog.  and  Aslron.  Ezped.,  188. 


ality  of  ships  that  had  visited  his  people,  he  was  not 
positive,  but  remembered  well  that  when  he  was  a 
boy  a  ship  had  approached  Kaye  Island  for  the  first 
time.  When  a  boat  was  sent  ashore  the  natives  fled 
into  the  interior,  returning  only  after  their  visitors 
had  departed.  They  found  their  domiciles  despoiled 
of  many  articles  and  some  provisions,  while  some 
beads,  tobacco,  and  iron  kettles  had  been  deposited  in 
their  place.  As  this  account  corresponds  altogether 
with  Steller's  report  of  Khitrof's  landing  in  1741, 
Sauer  and  Sarychef  came  at  once  to  the  conclusion 
that  Kaye  Island  must  be  the  locality  of  Bering's 

Sauer  conceived  a  wild  plan  of  remaining  alone 
among  the  natives  of  Prince  William  Sound  to  carry 
on  explorations,  with  a  faint  hope  of  discovering  the 
long  sought  for  passage  into  the  northern  Atlantic. 
Billings  very  properly  refused  to  sanction  the  plan, 
much  to  the  chagrin  of  his  Quixotic  secretary. 

A  few  good  spars  were  secured  for  the  ship  and  a 
small  supply  of  fresh  fish,  and  on  the  1st  of  August  a 
council  of  officers  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it  was 
best  to  return  to  Kamchatka.  The  stock  of  provi- 
sions was  not  sufficient  to  maintain  the  whole  com- 
pany during  the  winter  in  a  country  apparently  with- 
out any  reliable  natural  resources ;  the  season  was  far 
advanced  and  it  appeared  scarcely  safe  to  continue 
the  work  of  surveying  in  an  almost  unknown  region 
with  a  single  vessel.  A  south-westerly  course  was 
adopted,  but  the  winds  were  adverse,  and  by  the 
beginning  of  September  the  Slava  Rossie  was  still 
tossing  about  in  unknown  seas,  unable  to  obtain  any 
correct  observations.  A  squall  carried  away  the  fore- 
mast and  other  spars  and  it  was  found  impossible  to 
touch  at  Unalaska  to  replenish  the  water-casks  and 
land  the  Aleut  interpreters.  On  the  24th  of  Sep- 
tember one  of  the  latter  attempted  suicide  by  cut- 
ting his  throat,  despairing  of  ever  seeing  his  country 
again.    The  supply  of  water  and  provisions  was  almost 

Hist.  Alaska.    19 


exhausted  and  they  had  reasons  to  believe  themselves 
still  many  hundred  miles  from  the  coast  of  Kam- 
chatka; but  in  spite  of  the  many  evils  threatening 
him  on  every  side  Billings  continued  upon  his  course, 
and  at  last,  on  the  14th  of  October,  the  Slava  Rossie 
entered  the  Bay  of  Avatcha,  with  a  large  part  of  her 
crew  suffering  from  scurvy. 

The  remainder  of  the  expedition  had  arrived  from 
Okhotsk  during  the  summer,  bringing  the  iron  and 
other  material  saved  from  the  wrecked  Dohraia  Na- 
merenia,  and  the  first  thing  to  be  done  was  to  build 
another  ship.  The  ship-carpenters  and  a  force  of  men 
were  at  once  despatched  to  Nishnekamchatsk,  where 
suitable  timber  was  more  abundant,  and  the  work 
progressed  vigorously  under  superintendence  of  Cap- 
tain Hall.  The  other  officers  passed  most  of  their 
time  at  Bolsheretsk  in  the  enjo3^ment  of  social  inter- 
course with  the  families  of  government  officers  and 

One  of  the  navigators  attached  to  the  expedition, 
named  Bronnikof,  having  died  during  the  summer, 
Billings  engaged  in  his  stead  Gerassim  Pribylof,  who 
in  the  service  of  the  Lebedef-Lastochkin  company  had 
recently  discovered  the  islands  of  St  George  and  St 
Paul,  the  annual  retreat  of  the  fur-seals. 

Early  in  April  1791  the  members  of  the  expedition 
once  more  assembled  at  Petropavlovsk,  and  orders 
were  forwarded  to  Captain  Hall,  who  was  to  command 
the  new  vessel,  to  meet  the  Slava  Rossie  at  Bering 
Island  between  the  25th  and  30th  of  May.  In  case 
of  failure  to  meet,  a  second  rendezvous  was  appointed 
at  Unalaska. 

On  the  1 9th  of  May  the  ships  sailed  out  of  Avatcha 
Bay  after  a  long  detention  by  baffling  winds.  On  the 
28th  Bering  Island  was  made,  but  the  weather  being 
boisterous  it  was  concluded  not  to  wait  for  the  con- 
sort, but  to  go  on  to  Unalaska.  The  first  landing  was 
made  on  the  island  of  Tanaga,  where  they  found  a 
village  inhabited  by  women  and  a  few  old  men,  who 


explained  that  all  the  able-bodied  hunters  had  been 
carried  off  to  the  eastward  by  Lukanin  and  his  com- 
pany. The  people  complained  that  this  party  had 
also  taken  with  them  many  women.  The  Aleuts  car- 
ried to  Kamchatka  against  their  will,  during  the  last 
voyage,  were  here  set  ashore  with  no  other  compensa- 
tion than  a  few  articles  of  clothing,  a  little  tobacco, 
and  a  brief  document  exempting  them  from  compul- 
sory services  with  the  trading  companies. 

On  the  25th  of  June  the  harbor  of  Illiuliuk  on 
Unalaska  Island  was  reached,  but  nothing  had  been 
heard  of  Hall  and  his  vessel.  Billings  at  once  de- 
clared that  he  would  give  up  his  former  intention  to 
make  a  thorough  exploration  of  Cook  Inlet  and  vicin- 
ity, ^nd  proceed  at  once  to  St  Lawrence  Bay,  in  the 
Chukchi  country,  after  depositing  at  Unalaska  some 
provisions  for  Captain  Hall  with  a  few  men  to  guard 
them.^^  Instructions  were  also  left  for  the  consort  to 
immediately  follow  the  Slava  Rossie  to  St  Lawrence 
Bay.  The  officers,  especially  Sarychef  and  Sauer, 
were  greatly  disappointed  at  this  change  of  plans, 
and  the  latter  in  his  journal  expressed  the  opinion 
that  too  rapid  promotion  had  an  evil  effect  on  Captain 
Billings,  who  seemed  to  have  lost  all  ambition  to  make 
discoveries,  and  haughtily  refused  advice  from  the 
most  experienced  of  his  companions." 

After  landing  the  men  and  provisions  for  Hall,  the 

"  The  men  left  there  were  Surgeon  AUegretti,  Ensign  Ivan  Alexei'ef  atd 
one  sailor.  Id.,  229.  Juvenal,  Jour.,  MS.,  27  et  seq.,  refers  to  the  doings  of 
the  Lebedef-Lastochkin  Company. 

"Sauer  uses  the  following  strong  language:  'Nothing  in  the  world  could 
have  afforded  me  less  satisfaction  than  this  resolution,  which  I  regarded  as 
the  conclusion  of  an  expedition  that  was  set  on  foot  with  unbounded  liber- 
alitj'-  by  the  most  magnanimous  sovereign  in  the  world;  which  had  raised  the 
expectation  of  all  nations  to  the  highest  pitch,  and  induced  mankind  to  an- 
ticipate the  satisfaction  of  obtaining  the  most  complete  knowledge  of  the 
geography  of  this  unknown  part  of  the  globe,  together  with  a  conviction  of 
the  existence  or  non-existence  of  a  north-west  passage.  But,  alas!  after  so 
many  years  of  danger  and  fatigue;  after  putting  the  government  to  such  an 
extraordinary  expense;  after  having  advanced  so  far  in  the  attempt,  even  at 
the  very  time  when  we  were  in  hourly  expectation  of  our  comfort,  and,  as 
appeared  to  me,  being  just  entering  upon  the  grand  part  of  the  imdertak- 
ing,  thus  to  abandon  it  was  the  most  unaccountable  and  unjustifiable  of  ac- 
tions.' Sauer' s  Geog.  and  Astron.  Exped.,  230. 


Slava  Rossie  put  to  sea  on  the  8th  of  July.  Passing^ 
through  the  Pribylof  and  St  Matthew  islands,  they 
made  land  on  the  20th  of  July,  which  turned  out  to 
be  Gierke  Island  (St  Lawrence).  Billings  landed  in 
person;  the  natives  who  had  be^^n  discerned  walking 
on  the  beach  disappeared  as  soon  as  the  boat  ap- 
proached the  shore.  The  party  returned  in  the 
evening,  having  visited  some  abandoned  habitations 
and  met  some  domesticated  dogs.  A  party  of  natives 
crossing  a  lake  in  the  direction  of  the  ocean  beach 
was  frightened  back  by  a  musket-shot  fired  to  warn 
Billings,  who  had  strayed  some  distance  by  himself 

On  the  27th  of  July  the  explorers  at  last  caught 
sight  of  the  American  continent,  in  the  vicinity  of 
Cape  Bodney.  Billings,  with  the  naturalist,  draughts- 
man, and  two  other  officers  were  landed  in  boats. 
The  party  made  a  fire  of  drift-wood  on  the  beach  and 
then  dispersed  in  search  of  inhabitants.  A  few  were 
found,  and  friendly  intercourse  was  established  b}^ 
means  of  an  Anadir  Cossack  who  spoke  the  Chuk- 
chi language.  The  natives  conducted  their  visitors 
to  a  temporary  dwelling  and  treated  them  hospitably. 
The  following  day  some  trading  was  carried  on  and 
the  explorers  returned  to  the  ship  with  considerable 
difficulty  owing  to  stormy  weather. ^^ 

On  the  2d  of  August  the  expedition  reached  its 
highest  latitude,  65°  23'  50",  sighting  the  islands  in 
mid-channel  of  Bering  Strait,  and  the  following  day 
the  Slava  Rossie  anchored  in  St  Lawrence  Bay.  From 
this  point  Billings  proposed  to  set  out  overland,  with 
a  small  party,  in  the  direction  of  the  Kovima,  while 
Sarychef  was  to  take  the  vessel  back  to  Unalaska. 
Two  guides  and  interpreters,  Kobelef  and  Dauerkin, 
had  been  on  the  coast  ever  since  1787,  awaiting  the 

^*  A  bidar,  purchased  from  the  natives,  with  four  sailors,  did  not  reach 
the  ship  till  the  31st.  The  men  reported  that  they  had  been  cast  ashore,  and 
at  daylight  found  themselves  surrounded  by  a  number  of  natives,  with  whom 
they  traded,  though  giving  them  a  bad  character.  Sauer  remarks  on  this 
occasion:  '  I  cannot  guess  what  articles  of  trade  they  had ;  but  they  obtained 
several  skins  of  black  and  red  foxes,  martens,  etc.  I  hope  that  the  natives 
had  not  the  greater  reason  to  complain.'  Id.,  247. 



expedition,  and  Billings  lost  no  time  in  perfecting 
preparations  for  his  dangerous  journey,  taking  his  final 
departure  on  the  13th  of  August. ^^ 

The  commander  appeared  confident  of  his  purpose, 
but  those  he  left  on  the  ship  by  no  means  shared  that 
feeling.  They  considered  the  large  quantity  of  goods 
carried  as  presents  an  additional  danger,  which  proved 
true  according  to  the  report  of  the  journey.  As  soon 
as  they  left  the  coast  they  found  themselves  com- 
pletely in  the  power  of  the  Chukchi  who  were  to 
accompany  them  across  the  country.  They  were  led 
over  a  roundabout  route  and  systematically  robbed  at 
every  opportunity.  As  their  store  of  goods  decreased 
the  insolence  of  the  natives  increased  and  on  more 
than  one  occasion  they  narrowly  escaped  slaughter. 

On  the  day  after  Billings'  departure  Sarychef  sailed 
for  Unalaska.  The  Slava  Rossie  was  now  but  ill  pro- 
vided with  food,  water,  and  firewood,  but  anxiety  on 
account  of  Hall  with  the  consort  made  it  necessary 
to  steer  for  the  Aleutian  isles  instead  of  proceeding 
to  Petropavlovsk  for  supplies.  The  passage  was  com- 
paratively short,  however,  and  on  the  28  th  of  August 
they  anchored  once  more  in  Illiuliuk  harbor.  Captain 
Hall  had  arrived  there  a  few  days  after  Billings' 
departure  and  sailed  for  St  Lawrence  Bay  in  accord- 
ance with  instructions:  thence  he  returned,  arriving 
three  days  later. 

The  anchorag©  chosen  for  the  two  vessels  during 
the  winter  was  a  longitudinal  cove  on  the  west  side 
of  Illiuliuk  Bay,  protected  by  a  low  island,  now  con- 
nected with  the  adjoining  shore  by  a  narrow  neck. 
Some  shops  and  huts  for  officers  were  erected,  but  the 
greater  part  of  the  crews  remained  on  board  of  the 
Slava  Rossie  and  the  Chernui  Orel,  or  Black  Eagle, 
as  Captain  Hall's  vessel  had  been  named.  Sauer 
intimates  that  the  principal  reason  of  the  sailors  for 

J8  The  compaiiy  numbered  12— Capt.  Billings,  Dr  Merck  the  naturalist  and 
his  assistant  Mr  Main,  Masters  Batakof  and  Gileief  of  the  navy;  Varonin, 
the  draughtsman,  and  Leman,  surgeon's  mate;  the  two  interpreters,  Kobelef 
and  Dauerkin,  and  two  soldiers  and  a  boj'  attending  on  the  captain.  Id. ,  255. 


remaining  on  board  was,  that  while  on  the  ships  they 
were  entitled  to  a  daily  allowance  of  brandy  which 
could  not  have  been  issued  to  them  on  shore.  The 
officers  doomed  to  pass  a  wretched  winter  in  this 
desolate  place  were  captains  Robert  Hall  and  Gavril 
Sarychef,  Lieutenant  Christian  Bering,  Surgeon- 
major  Robeck,  Surgeon  Allegretti,  and  Bakof,  Baku- 
lin,  Erling,  Pribylof,  and  Sauer.  Billings'  orders  had 
been  to  collect  tribute  from  the  Aleutian  isles,  and 
Hall  took  the  necessary  steps  to  notify  the  natives  of 
his  purpose.  The  Aleuts  came  voluntarily  with  con- 
tributions of  fox  and  sea-otter  skins,  especially  after 
it  became  known  that  the  government  officers  gen- 
erally returned  the  full  value  of  the  skins  in  trinkets. 
In  the  expectation  that  at  least  one  of  his  ships 
would  winter  at  Unalaska,  Billings  had  given  orders 
that  stores  of  dried  fish  should  be  prepared,  and  this 
order  had  been  generally  obeyed  by  the  natives;  but 
with  all  that  the  crews  of  the  two  vessels  were  but 
poorly  provided  for  the  long,  cold  winter.  The  knowl- 
edge of  the  dreadful  sufferings  of  their  predecessors 
in  that  harbor,  Captain  Levashef  and  his  crew,  of 
the  Krenitzin  expedition,  in  1768,  may  have  hastened 
the  coming  of  the  scurvy;  at  all  events,  a  month 
had  not  passed  before  several  men  were  attacked  with 
it,  and  before  the  end  of  the  year  one  victim  was 
buried.  With  the  new  year  the  disease  became  more 
violent,  and  toward  the  end  of  February  1792  they 
buried  as  many  as  three  in  one  day.  In  March  a 
change  for  the  better  set  in,  after  seventeen  of  the 
best  men  had  found  their  graves.  With  the  greatest 
difficulty  the  two  ships  were  brought  into  condition 
to  undertake  the  return  voyage  to  Petropavlovsk,  but 
the  task  was  at  last  accomplished  on  the  IGth  of  May. 
During  the  winter  tribute  had  been  collected  from 
about  five  hundred  natives,  amounting  to  a  dozen  sea- 
otter  skins  and  six  hundred  foxes  of  different  kinds, 
and  in  return  for  these  all  the  trinkets  and  tobacco, 
quite  a  large  quantity,  had  been  distributed.    A  party 


consisting  of  some  Russians  from  Shelikof  s  establish- 
ment at  Kadiak  and  some  natives  had  paid  a  visit  to 
the  winter-quarters  of  the  expedition  in  search  of 
syphihtic  remedies,  brandy,  and  tobacco.  The  former 
they  obtained  from  the  surgeons  together  with  proper 
directions  for  using  them.  The  natives  with  this 
party  made  many  complaints  of  ill-treatment  at  the 
hands  of  Russian  promyshleniki,  which  Sauer  con- 
sidered well  founded.^'' 

The  return  from  Unalaska  was  accomplished  with 
better  despatch  than  might  have  been  expected  from 
the  miserable  condition  of  the  vessels.  On  the  7th 
of  June  the  Slava  Rossie  lost  sight  of  the  Chernui 
Orel,  and  on  the  16  th  the  former  vessel  entered 
Avatcha  Bay.  An  English  ship,  the  Halcyon,  Cap- 
tain Barclay,  was  in  the  harbor,  with  a  cargo  of  iron- 
ware and  ship-chandlery  much  needed  on  the  coast, 
but  the  stupid  port  authorities  would  not  allow  the 
cajDtain  to  dispose  of  any  of  his  goods. 

The  explorers  were  anxious  to  proceed  to  Okhotsk, 
but  deeming  it  impracticable  to  enter  that  port  with 
the  Slava  Rossie  it  was  concluded  to  despatch  the 
Chernui  Orel,  with  as  many  members  of  the  expedi- 
tion as  she  could  carry,  while  the  remainder  awaited 
the  arrival  of  the  annual  transport  vessel  from 
Okhotsk.  Shortly  after  the  sailing  of  the  first  de- 
tachment news  was  received  from  Captain  Billings  and 
his  party.  They  had  undergone  the  greatest  suffer- 
ings, but  were  then,  in  February  1792,  on  the  river 
Angarka  within  a  few  days'  march  of  the  Kovima. 
The  object  of  the  dangerous  journey  had  to  a  great 
extent  been  frustrated  by  the  restrictions  imposed 
upon  the  helpless  explorers  by  the  impudent  Chukchi. 

^'He  also  says:  'Shelikhof  has  formed  a  project  to  obtain  the  sole  priv- 
ilege of  carrying  on  this  trade  without  a  rival,  and  he  will  probably,  one  day 
or  other,  succeed;  but  not  before  the  scarcity  of  furs  lessens  the  value  of  this 
trade  and  renders  fresh  capital  necessary  for  making  new  excursions  to  dis- 
cover other  sources  of  commerce,  or  rather  of  wealth;  then  tine  dii-ectoi's  of 
the  present  concern  will  explore  the  regions  of  Amercia,  and  if  nothing 
advantageous  occurs,  they  will  doubtless  retire  from  the  conceni,  secure  in 
their  possessions,  and  leave  the  new  members  to  pursue  the  undertaking.' 
Id.,  275-6. 


They  had  destroyed  the  surveying  outfit  and  would 
not  allow  any  notes  to  be  taken  or  calculations  to  be 
made.  Captain  Billings  communicated  his  intention 
of  proceeding  to  Yakutsk  with  all  possible  speed  and 
desired  Sauer  to  join  him  there  as  soon  as  practi- 

Letters  from  St  Petersburg  were  received  about  the 
same  time,  announcing  that  a  French  vessel,  under 
the  flag  of  the  republic,  had  sailed  for  Petropavlovsk, 
and  ordering  that  every  facility  of  trade  should  be 
afforded  to  the  supercargo,  a  M.  Torckler.  A  few 
days  later  the  ship  arrived  and  was  found  to  be  the 
La  Flavia — also  heard  of  on  the  American  coast — 
with  a  crew  of  sixty  men  besides  the  officers.  Her 
cargo  consisted  chiefly  of  brandy.  One  cannot  but 
note  the  difference  in  official  action  with  regard  to 
the  useful  cargo  of  iron-ware  brought  by  Barclay  the 
same  year,  and  that  of  the  La  Flavia,  consisting  of 
the  chief  element  of  destruction  and  ruin  among  the 
half-savage  inhabitants  of  that  region.  The  French 
ship  remained  during  the  whole  winter,  retailing  the 
cargo,  for  nobody  in  Petropavlovsk  had  the  means  to 
buy  it  in  bulk.     She  sailed  June  1..  1793,  for  Canton. 

Thus  came  to  an  end,  as  far  as  concerns  the  Russian 
possessions  in  America,  an  expedition  inaugurated  on 
a  truly  magnificent  scale  after  long  years  of  prepara- 
tion. The  geographical  results  may  be  set  down  at 
next  to  nothing,  with  the  exception  of  the  thorough 
surveys  of  Captain  Bay  in  Illiuliuk  Harbor  on  Una- 
laska  Island.  Every  other  part  of  the  work  had 
already  been  done  by  Cook.  The  knowledge  obtained 
by  Billings  during  his  march  from  St  Lawrence  Bay 
to  the  Kovima  proved  of  no  great  importance,  based 
as  it  was  to  a  great  extent  on  hearsay  from  the 
treacherous  Chukchi,  who  would  not  allow  any  meni- 

"The  members  of  the  expedition  still  at  Petropavlovsk  were  Capt.  Bering, 
Masters  Bakof  and  Bakulin,  ^Ir  Sauer,  and  Surgeon-general  Robeck.  Major 
bhmalef  was  in  command  of  the  province.  Id.,  285. 

RESULTS.  297 

ber  of  the  band  to  make  personal  observations.  An 
important  feature,  however,  was  the  prehminary  ex- 
perience gained  by  Sarychef,  who  subsequently  pub- 
lished the  most  complete  and  reliable  charts  of  the 
Aleutian  Islands,  a  work  upon  which,  as  far  as  the 
territory  included  in  Sarychefs  own  observations  is 
concerned,  even  Tebenkof  could  make  few  if  any  im- 
provements. Their  reliability  stands  acknowledged 
to  the  present  day.  But  few  corrections  have  been 
made  in  his  special  charts  of  harbors  by  modern  sur- 
veys. As  far  as  it  is  possible  to  judge  now,  it  seems 
that  Martin  Sauer's  estimate  of  his  commander  was 
nearly  correct,  and  we  may  concur  in  his  opinion  that 
the  failure  of  the  expedition  in  its  chief  objects  was 
due  to  the  leader's  incapacity  and  false  pride,  which 
prevented  him  from  accepting  the  advice  of  others 
w^ell  qualified  and  willing  to  give  it;  but  there  were 
also  other  reasons,  as  we  shall  see.  It  was  almost  a 
miracle  that  he  did  not  furnish  a  tragic  finale  to  a 
series  of  blunders  by  losing  his  life  during  his  fool- 
hardy journey  through  the  country  of  the  Chukchi. 

The  principal  benefit  derived  from  this  costly 
undertaking  was  the  ventilation  of  abuses  practised 
by  unscrupulous  traders  upon  helpless  natives.  The 
authorities  in  Siberia  and  St  Petersburg  became  at 
last  convinced  that  an  end  must  be  put  to  the  bar- 
barous rule  of  the  promyshleniki.  The  cheapest  and 
easiest  way  to  accomplish  this  was  to  grant  control  of 
the  wdiole  business  with  American  coasts  and  islands 
to  one  strong  company  that  might  be  held  responsible 
to  the  government  for  its  conduct.  Those  members 
of  the  Billings  expedition  who  revealed  the  unsatis- 
factory state  of  affairs  in  these  outlying  possessions 
of  Russia  did  not  intend  to  aid  Shelikof  and  his  part- 
ners in  their  ambitious  schemes,  but  such  was  the 
effect  of  their  reports.  Another  result  was  to  abolish 
the  custom  of  collecting  tribute  from  the  Aleuts ;  the 
method  introduced  by  Sarj^chef — to  return  the  full 
value  in  tobacco  and  trinkets  for  skins  tendered  as 


tribute — would  have  effectually  prevented  the  govern- 
ment from  deriving  any  benefit  from  that  source. 

If  the  expedition  revealed  abuses  it  also  gave  rise 
to  others.  Many  private  individuals  enriched  them- 
selves by  contracts  for  supplying  the  expedition  at  the 
different  stages  of  its  progress,  especially  at  Irkutsk, 
Yakutsk,  and  Okhotsk.  Sauer  mentions  in  his  jour- 
nal that  on  his  return  voyage  he  found  the  officials  at 
Yakutsk,  whom  he  had  left  in  comparative  poverty, 
in  much  improved  circumstances,  bordering  upon 
affluence,  and  he  ascribes  the  change  to  the  fact  that 
these  people  had  been  engaged  in  furnishing  horses 
for  the  transportation  of  stores  to  the  Kovima  and  to 

The  experience  gained  in  the  way  of  navigation  and 
management  of  similar  expeditions  was  of  some  value; 
and  in  this  connection  it  is  rather  a  significant  fact  that 
during  the  first  voyage  of  the  Slava  Rossie,  under  the 
immediate  command  of  Billings,  the  scurvy  was  suc- 
cessfully combated,^^  yet  in  the  following  year  the 
two  ships  had  been  anchored  in  Illiuliuk  harbor  but 
a  few  weeks  when  the  dreaded  disease  broke  out  with 
such  violence  that  the  combined  efforts  of  Sarychef 
and  Hall,  two  medical  men,  and  Martin  Sauer  failed 
to  arrest  its  ravages. 

With  regard  to  the  supplementary  instructions  rel- 
ative to  the  Swedish  cruiser  Mercury,  nothing  was  done 
by  Billings,  though  the  vessel  did  visit  the  Aleutian 
Islands  according  to  the  report  of  Pribylof  The  ap- 
prehensions on  this  account  seem  to  have  been  great. 
A  set  of  minute  instructions  was  furnished  to  traders 
on  the  islands,  to  regulate  their  conduct  in  case  the 
privateer  appeared,  but  in  Pribylof's  intercourse  with 

"Billings,  formerly  of  Cook's  expedition,  had  evidently  learned  something 
of  that  navigator's  effective  method  of  combating  the  scurvy.  The  surgeon's 
journal  contains  the  following  remarks:  'It  was  only  toward  the  end  of  the 
voyage,  when  our  bread  was  out  and  we  were  reduced  to  a  short  allowance  of 
water,  that  the  scurvy  made  its  appearance.  At  this  time  pease  and  grits, 
boiled  to  a  thick  consistency  in  a  small  quantity  of  water,  and  buttered, 
were  substituted  for  salted  provisions.  The  primary  symptoms  of  scurvy 
then  appeared,  but  on  arriving  at  Petropavlovsk  a  treatment  of  bleeding,  thin 
drink,  and  fresh  fish  restored  all  hands  in  a  very  short  time. '  Id. ,  208-9. 


Captain  Coxe,  the  former  did  not  use  any  of  the  pre- 
cautions enjoined.^" 

The  hand  of  the  future  monopolists  can  be  dis- 
cerned, shaping  events,  from  a  period  preceding  that 
of  Bilhngs'  expedition,  though  perhaps  Martin  Sauer 
was  not  able  to  see  it.  Notwithstanding  his  belief  to 
the  contrary,  the  members  of  the  Shelikof  Company, 
already  in  virtual  possession  of  their  exclusive  privi- 
leges of  trade,  were  then  making  strenuous  efforts 
to  extend  operations  instead  of  drawing  out  of  the 
business.  Shelikof,  Baranof,  and  Delarof  knew  far 
better  than  Billings'  sanguine  secretary  what  wealth 
was  in  the  country.  Where  he  saw  nothing  but  indi- 
cations of  quick  decline,  energetic  preparations  were 
in  progress  for  a  healthy  revival  of  business.  For 
many  years  after  the  period  set  by  Sauer  even  the 
vessels  of  small  opposition  companies  continued  to 
visit  the  islands  and  portions  of  the  mainland. 

One  proof  of  the  confidence  of  Shelikof  in  the 
stability  of  the  business  for  many  years  to  come  is 
furnished  by  his  efforts  to  establish  a  settlement  in 

*"  The  instructions  issued  in  1790  to  the  Shelikof-Golikof  Company  con- 
tained the  following:  'Necessary  measures  will  be  taken  in  accordance  with 
secret  instructions,  by  order  of  the  empress,  to  protect  the  establishments  of 
the  company  and  its  stores  of  goods  and  furS  against  the  attacks  of  pirates, 
which  have  been  sent  out  for  that  purpose  by  the  Swedish  government,  under 
the  command  of  English  captains,  and  all  possible  means  will  be  employed  to 
avert  this  danger,  threatening  the  hunters  as  well  as  the  company's  property. 
If,  in  spite  of  all  precautions,  these  privateers  enter  any  Russian  harbor  or 
land  parties  of  men,  efforts  must  be  made  to  repulse  them,  and,  if  possible,  to 
capture  and  detain  them.  In  such  a  case  a  party  of  natives  will  be  formed,  in 
bidarkas,  decorated  with  beads  and  paint;  they  will  approach  the  vessel  with 
signs  of  admiration  and  friendship,  beckoning  to  the  people  on  board  to  land, 
displaying  sea-otter  skins,  and  presenting  them  with  a  few.  Having  in  this 
way  induced  as  many  as  possible  of  the  crew  to  land,  the  natives  will  meet 
them  with  their  customary  dances  and  all  signs  of  satisfaction,  in  the  mean 
time  endeavoring  to  decoy  the  vessel  into  some  dangerous  place.  During  all 
this  time  not  one  Russian  must  show  himself,  but  they  must  all  be  hidden  in 
convenient  places  prepared  for  that  purpose,  and  when  the  deluded  party 
approaches  some  defile  or  ambush,  the  hidden  Russians  will  emerge  at  a  given 
signal  to  attack  both  the  vessel  and  the  men  on  shore,  endeavoring  to  capture 
the  leaders,  etc. '  In  case  of  fortune  favoring  the  hostile  visitors  the  instiaic- 
tions  direct  that,  'if  possible,  the  most  important  among  the  Russians  or 
natives  must  endeavor  to  escape  in  bidars  or  bidarkas  by  passages  where  the 
ship  cannot  follow,  while  others  may  approach  the  vessel  at  night  and  attempt 
to  scuttle  it  or  cause  it  to  leak. '  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obosr. ,  i.  33-4. 


the  vicinity  of  Cape  St  Elias  and  to  begin  ship-build- 
ing there.  "I  have  made  representations  to  the 
government,"  he  wrote  to  Baranof,  ''with  regard  to 
ship-building  and  agriculture  at  Cape  St  Elias.  Dur- 
ing my  sojourn  at  Kadiak  it  was  known  to  me  that 
the  mainland  of  America  from  Unga  Island  to  the 
regions  inhabited  by  the  Kenai  enjoys  better  climatic 
conditions  than  the  island  of  Kadiak.  The  soil  is  fit 
for  cultivation,  timber  is  plentiful,"  etc.  Baranof 
wrote  in  reply  that  he  entertained  no  hope  of  suc- 
ceeding in  agricultural  experiments  at  Yakutat,  espe- 
cially near  the  coast,  as  the  place  was  situated  between 
59°  and  60°  north  latitude.  He  also  stated  that  the 
shores  of  the  gulf  of  Chugachuik  and  portions  round 
Kenai'  were  composed  of  very  hi^h  and  rugged  moun- 

The  peculiar  search  for  agricultural  lands  outside  of 
Kadiak  shows  plainly  that  the  wily  traders  were  not 
in  earnest  in  their  search.  Kadiak  is  the  spot  most 
favored  by  nature  as  far  as  climate  and  soil  are  con- 
cerned. No  other  place  in  all  that  vast  region  can 
furnish  feed  for  cattle  or  boast  of  rich  fisheries,  useful 
timber,  and  fertile  vegetable-gardens  in  close  prox- 
imity to  each  other.  But  all  this  was  carefully  hidden 
from  the  knowledge  of  the  government  and  attention 
was  drawn  toward  a  region  wdiere  failure  was  a  cer- 
tainty, in  order  to  obtain  the  services  of  such  laborers 
and  mechanics  as  might  be  forwarded  from  Siberia 
in  conformity  with  Shelikof's  representations  to  the 
imperial  court.  It  was  a  wily  scheme  and  proved 
successful  with  regard  to  the  introduction  of  skilled 
labor  into  the  colonies  without  much  expense  to  the 
company,  who  obtained  the  privilege  of  selecting  useful 
men  among  Siberian  exiles  and  convicts.  The  best  of 
these  picked  men,  as  we  shall  see  in  a  succeeding  chap- 
ter, never  reached  the  proposed  settlement  at  Yakutat, 
and  the  few  who  did  perished  or  were  captured  during 
the  sacking  of  the  place  by  the  Thlinkeets. 

It  is  safe  to  presume,  also,  that  Billings  had  reasons 


for  not  doing  anything  against  the  men  who  were 
preparing  to  assume  supreme  control  over  the  Kussian 
possessions  in  America,  despite  a  httje  episode  with 
his  Russian  secretary  at  Petropavlovsk,  who  was  sent 
back  to  Okhotsk  in  irons,  because  he  had  revealed 
some  of  the  secret  instructions  of  his  commander  to 
members  of  the  Shelikof  Company.^^  His  strange 
apathy  in  the  matter  of  making  new  discoveries  or 
surveys  in  the  vicinity  of  Cook  Inlet  and  Prince  Will- 
iam Sound  may  have  been  due  to  influence  brought 
to  bear  from  that  direction,  and  not,  as  Sauer  inti- 
mates, to  mere  superciliousness  and  pride  engendered 
by  rapid  promotion. 

In  the  case  of  subsequent  government  expeditions 
and  inspectors  visiting  the  colonies  the  same  influence 
became  more  perceptible  and  undeniable,  a  circum- 
stance which  justifies  us,  to  a  certain  extent,  in  view- 
ing in  a  similar  light  the  results  of  this  expedition 
and  the  events  recorded  in  this  chapter. 

An  enterprise  that  objected  to  general  competition, 
and  especially  one  with  unscrupulous  men  at  its  head, 
was  sure  to  bring  about  the  employment  of  question- 
able means  in  its  furtherance.  Bribery  was  the  easiest 
and  perhaps  the  most  innocent  means  employed  to 
secure  immunity  from  interference  by  either  govern- 
ment or  rival  traders,  and  there  is  ground  for  suspicion 
that  it  was  brought  into  play  during  the  cruise  of  the 
Slava  Rossie. 

The  subordinate  members  of  the  expedition,  cap- 
tains Sarychef  and  Hall,  the  medical  men  and  Sauer, 
appear  to  have  taken  the  side  of  the  suffering  natives 
against  the  grasping  traders,  but  in  the  official  reports 
to  the  government  these  men  had  no  voice.  Billings' 
report  has  never  been  published,  and  we  can  only 
conjecture  its  tenor.  The  journal  and  notes  of  Martin 
Sauer  were  published  nearly  ten  years  later,  and  could 
in  no  way  have  influenced  the  Russian  government. 



That  the  traders  did  not  hke  the  presence  of  gov- 
ernment officers  among  them  was  but  natural.  The 
officers  belonged  to  a  class  far  above  any  of  the  trad- 
ers in  social  standing  as  well  as  rank,  and  they  took 
no  pains  to  conceal  their  contempt  for  the  semi-bar- 
barous plebeians.  Individuals  of  some  education,  like 
Delarof,  met  with  a  certain  degree  of  consideration, 
but  all  others  were  treated  like  dogs.  Even  Baranof, 
after  he  had  been  in  supreme  command  of  the  colonies 
for  many  years,  was  snubbed  by  lieutenants  and  mid- 
shipmen of  the  navy,  and  it  was  found  necessary  to 
obtain  for  him  a  civil  rank  in  order  to  insure  even 
common  respect  from  government  officials.  Under 
such  circumstances  the  merchants  considered  them- 
selves justified  in  resorting  to  any  means  by  which 
officers  might  be  disgusted  with  the  country  and  ex- 
ploring expeditions  made  to  appear  unnecessary  to  the 

In  the  case  of  Sarychef,  Hall,  and  Sauer,  who 
passed  a  winter  on  Unalaska  Island,  this  plan  seems 
to  have  worked  satisfactorily,  as  not  one  of  them  had 
anything  good  to  say  of  a  country  where  they  suffered 
intensely  from  scurvy  and  lack  of  provisions.  The  fact 
that  a  party  of  Russians  and  natives  from  Kadiak 
visited  the  expedition  in  its  winter-quarters  demon- 
strates the  possibility  of  carrying  on  the  work  of 
exploration  and  surveying  on  Unalaska  and  neigh- 
boring islands  during  the  winter,  but  no  such  attempt 
was  made,  though  the  whole  company  suffered  from 
the  effects  of  inactivity.  With  the  example  before 
them  of  the  Kadiak  party,  already  referred  to  in  the 
earlier  pages  of  this  chapter,  strengthened  by  that 
of  Martin  Sauer,  who  almost  alone  retained  compara- 
tively good  health  by  constantly  moving  about,  it  is 
diffi(?ult  to  find  any  valid  reason  for  the  apathy  shown 
by  the  officials  in  command.  The  work  actually  ac- 
complished by  Sarychef  must  have  been  completed 
before  the  appearance  of  the  scurvy.  Sauer's  original 
ambition,  which  caused  him  to  make  the  foolhardy 


proposition  of  remaining  alone  among  theChugatsches, 
seems  to  have  cooled,  and  after  returning  to  Kamt- 
chatka  he  confined  his  visionary  plans  to  the  explor- 
ation of  the  Kurile  Islands  and  perhaps  Japan  or 
China.  We  have  no  record,  however,  that  any  of  his 
plans  reached  the  stage  of  execution. 

In  support  of  his  schemes  Shelikof  had  been  the 
prime  mover  in  the  request  to  have  a  missionary 
establishment  appointed  for  the  colonies,  and  in  his 
reports  he  claimed  to  have  converted  large  numbers 
of  natives  to  Christianity.  It  is  safe  to  presume,  how- 
ever, that  his  success  as  a  religious  teacher  was  not 
sufficient  to  prepare  the  field  for  the  priest  attached 
to  Billings'  expeditions,  who  evidently  considered  that 
his  whole  duty  consisted  in  holding  services  for  his 
companions  once  a  week,  and  in  administering  the 
customary  oath  to  Captain  Billings  whenever  the 
latter  assumed  an  additional  rank  in  accordance  with 
the  imperial  oukaz  containing  his  instructions.  On  the 
second  voyage  from  Petropavlovsk  the  commander  did 
not  expect  further  promotion,  and  we  find  no  mention 
of  the  priest.  He  was  probably  left  behind  as  one 
whose  earthly  work  was  done.  Sauer  gave  him  a  bad 
character  and  called  him  half-savage. 

The  stay  of  the  Slava  Rossie  was  besides  too  short 
at  any  one  place  during  the  first  voyage  to  allow  of 
missionary  work  on  the  part  of  the  priest,  though  a 
portable  church — a  large  tent — was  set  up  at  every 
anchorage.  Shelikof  had  not  hesitated  to  perform  a 
primitive  rite  of  baptism,  but  he  could  not  legally 
marry  people,  and  the  ceremony  performed  on  Kadiak 
Island,  as  before  mentioned,  was  consequently  the  first 
that  ever  took  place  in  the  country.  The  wife  of 
Shelikof  had  accompanied  him  on  his  visit  to  America, 
but  from  that  solitary  example  the  natives  could  not 
have  acquired  much  knowledge  of  the  institution  of 
Christian  marriage. 

Shelikof's   application   for  missionaries   had  great 


weight  with  the  commission  intrusted  to  consider  the 
demand  of  his  company  for  exclusive  privileges,  but 
the  first  members  of  the  clergy  who  landed  upon  the 
islands  of  the  American  coast  in  response  to  the  call 
did  not  meet  with  the  hearty  cooperation  the}^  may 
have  expected  at  the  hands  of  the  traders.  Taking 
time  and  circumstances  into  consideration,  this  was 
but  natural.  All  the  Russians,  from  the  chief  trader 
down,  were  laboring  'on  shares,'  and  shared  alike  in 
the  scanty  provisions  furnished  at  very  irregular  inter- 
vals, while  every  man  was  expected  to  eke  out  addi- 
tional supplies  by  hunting  and  fishing  whenever  he 
could  obtain  a  few  days  from  other  pursuits.  The 
clergymen,  who  had  certainly  every  reason  to  look  for 
supplies  of  food  to  the  traders  who  had  desired  their 
presence,  were,  therefore,  considered  as  an  undesirable 
element  by  lawless  individuals,  long  removed  from  all 
association  with  even  the  forms  of  civilization.  Idlers 
were  not  wanted  in  the  camps  of  the  promyshleniki, 
where  scant  fare  was  the  rule,  and  for  some  years  after 
their  arrival  among  the  race  with  whose  language  they 
were  unacquainted,  the  missionaries  could  do  little. 
Complaints  of  shortcomings  and  even  ill-treatment 
were  at  first  quite  numerous,  and  by  some  priests  it 
was  alleged  that  the  commanders  of  stations,  where 
they  had  taken  up  their  residence,  made  them  work 
for  their  living.  This  may  well  have  been  the  case 
in  instances  where  agents  were  compelled  to  give  way 
to  popular  demand;  the  semi-barbarous  hunters  per- 
haps had  another  ground  for  harboring  ill-feeling 
to\vard  their  clerical  guests — the  latter  interfered  to 
a  certain  extent  with  the  more  than  free  use  made  of 
native  women  by  the  promyshleniki.  Still,  the  arh- 
hcmandrit,  or  prior,  loassaf,  sent  out  to  superintend 
the  missions,  was  treated  with  respect,  as  the  man- 
agers of  the  companies  recognized  the  necessity  of  . 
restraining  their  subordinates  in  his  case.  A  man  in 
his  position  could  and  did  do  good  service  in  settling 
difficulties  between  rival  firms  and  individuals. 




Shelikof's  Grand  Conception— Goveknok-genekal  Jacobi  Won  to  the 
Scheme — Shelikof's  Modest  Request — Alaska  Laid  under  Monop- 
oly— Stipulations  of  the  Empress — Humane  Orders  of  Kozlof- 
Ugrenin — Public  Instructions  and  Secret  Injunctions — Delarof's 
Administration — Shelikop  Induces  Baranof  to  Enter  the  Ser- 
vice of  his  Company — Career  and  Traits  of  the  New  Manager — 
Shipwreck  of  Baranof  on  Unalaska — Condition  of  the  Colony — ■ 
Rivalry  and  Other  Troubles — Plans  and  Recommendations — En- 
gagement with  the  Kaljushes — Ship-building— The  Englishman 
Shields — Launch  and  Tribulations  of  the  'Phoenix.' 

The  idea  of  a  subsidized  monopoly  of  trade  and 
industry,  to  embrace  all  Russian  discoveries  and  col- 
onies on  the  shores  of  the  north  Pacific,  first  arose  in 
the  fertile  brain  of  Grigor  Shelikof,  whose  original 
establishment  on  Kadiak  Island  has  been  the  subject 
of  a  preceding  chapter.  Once  seized  with  this  con- 
ception, Shelikof  hastened  forward  the  execution  of 
it  with  all  the  ardor  of  his  nature.  He  hurried  from 
Kamchatka  to  Okhotsk  and  Irkutsk,  travelling  with- 
out intermission  in  the  dead  of  winter  until  he  reached 
the  capital  of  eastern  Siberia  and  delivered  to  Gen- 
eral Jacobi,  the  governor  general,  a  detailed  account,, 
with  maps,  of  the  countries  he  had  visited,  and  plans, 
of  the  fortifications  erected.  He  then  asked  of  the 
governor  general  instructions  for  the  management  of 
the  people  thus  added  to  the  Russian  empire,  and 
aid  toward  obtaining  from  the  empress  a  recognition 
of  his  labors.^ 

^  I  will  quote  here  a  few  coucluding  lines  of  the  lengthy  document  pre- 
sented to  Jacobi  by  Shelikof:  'Without  the  approval  of  our  monarch  my 
Hist.  Alaska.    20  (305) 


Unlike  his  predecessors,  Shelikof  was  not  satisfied 
with  a  single  hunting  season  on  the  island  of  Kadiak, 
but,  as  we  have  seen,  proceeded  at  once  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  permanent  settlements.  After  the  pre- 
sentation of  his  report  to  General  Jacobi,  the  clever 
trader  asked  permission  to  send  a  few  ships  to  Chinese 
ports,  in  case  of  an  interruption  to  the  overland  trade 
with  Kiakhta.  The  permission  was  not  granted  at 
that  time.  Meanwhile  Golikof,  Shelikofs  partner, 
had  profited  by  a  temporary  sojourn  of  the  empress 

labors  would  be  altogether  unsatisfactory  to  me  and  of  but  little  account  to 
the  world,  since  the  principal  object  of  all  my  undertakings  has  been  to  incor- 
porate the  newly  discovered  seas,  countries,  and  islands  into  our  empire 
before  other  powers  could  occupy  and  claim  them,  and  to  inaugurate  enter- 
prises which  will  add  to  the  glory  of  our  wise  empress  and  secure  profits  to 
her  and  to  our  countrymen.  I  trust  that  my  hopes  of  seeing  wise  measures 
adopted  for  the  government  and  protection  of  the  distant  regions  discovered 
by  me  are  not  without  foundation,  and  that  we  shall  be  enabled  to  establish 
these  discoveries  to  the  best  possible  general  advantage.'  Tihhmenef,  I.stor. 
Obos.,  i.  15.  Captain  Golovnin,  who  inspected  the  colonies  in  1818,  in  a  letter 
to  the  imperial  navy  differs  from  Shelikof  as  to  the  merits  of  the  colo- 
nizer. He  states  that  'Shelikofs  Voyarje  was  printed  at  St  Petersburg  in 
1791.  Aside  from  the  barbarous  style  of  the  book  and  the  stupidity  exhibited 
on  every  page,  we  cannot  fail  to  notice  some  intentional  falsehoods,  showing 
how  crafty  and  far-seeing  this  man  was.  In  the  first  place  he  appropriates  to 
himself  without  any  conscientious  scruples  the  discovery  of  Kadiak  and 
Afognak,  when  it  is  well  known  that  Bering  sighted  those  islands  and  named 
a  point  Cape  Hermogen,  and  Cook,  five  years  before  Shelikofs  voyage,  ascer- 
tained that  the  cape  was  only  a  small  island.  Cape  Goviatskoi  on  Kadiak 
Island  was  named  Cape  Greville  by  Cook,  and  furthermore,  a  Russian  galiot 
wintered  at  Kadiak  as  early  as  1763,  its  commander  being  a  certain  Glottof, 
while  Shelikof  arrived  there  only  in  1784,  but  what  is  more  stupid  than  anj^- 
thiug  else  is,  that  on  the  title-page  of  his  book  he  claims  to  be  the  discoverer 
of  the  island  he  calls  Kuikhtak,  forgetting  that  on  page  20  of  his  book  he 
acknowledges  that  in  1761  a  Russian  vessel  stopped  at  that  island.  Where 
was  the  discovery?  What  i)lace  did  he  find  that  Cook  did  not  see?  Later 
Shelikof  asserts  that  he  found  50,000  inhabitants  on  the  island,  and  that  in 
a  fight  he  with  a  force  of  130  attacked  4,000  men,  fortified  upon  a  high  rock, 
taking  1,000  prisoners.  According  to  Captam  Lissianski's  inquiries  Shelikof 
fell  upon  400  people,  including  women  and  children ;  but  50,000  inhabitants 
never  existed  upon  the  island — the  number  now  being  3,000,  and  even  if  we 
suppose  that  the  company  succeeded  in  destroying  four  fifths,  the  original 
population  could  have  been  only  15,000.  Now,  the  question  is,  What  induced 
Shelikof  to  lie  thus  boldly  and  impudently?  He  answers  this  question  him- 
self, in  his  book,  when  he  asserts  that,  without  knowing  the  language  of  the 
inhabitants,  he  succeeded  in  one  winter  in  converting  a  large  number  of  them 
to  the  sacred  doctrines  of  our  religion,  and  that  by  simply  telling  them  of  the 
wisdom,  humanity,  and  kindness  of  the  empress  of  Russia,  he  made  such  an 
impression  upon  their  minds  that  the  natives  were  filled  with  love  and 
admiration  for  her  Majesty,  and  at  once  voluntarily  submitted  to  her  sceptre. 
Now,  it  is  clear  that  Shelikof  wished  to  make  the  government  believe  that  he 
had  discovered  a  new  country  and  added  50,000  bona  fide  subjects  to  Russia. 
He  did  not  fail  in  his  calculations,  as  he  received  very  flattering  rewards.' 
Golovnin,  Zapiski,  in  Mater ialui,  i.  52-3. 


at  Kursk,  and  had  presented  to  her  a  chart  of  Sheli- 
kof's  voyage.  Her  Majesty  inquired  into  the  com- 
pany's achievements,  and  finally  granted  Shelikof 
permission  to  come  to  St  Petersburg  and  present 
himself  at  court  with  Golikof 

Shortly  after  this  the  empress  asked  Jacobi  his 
opinion  as  to  the  best  means  of  establishing  the  Rus- 
sian dominion  on  the  islands  of  the  eastern  ocean,  and 
on  the  coast  of  America,  and  also  as  to  the  best  mode 
of  governing  the  savage  tribes  and  ameliorating  their 
condition.  In  answer  Jacobi  forwarded  a  lengthy 
report  in  which  he  approved  the  proposed  despatch 
of  a  fleet  from  the  Baltic '^  to  protect  navigation  in 
the  Pacific,  and  mentioned  that  he  had  forwarded  to 
the  regions  in  question  thirty  copper  shields,  bearing 
the  imperial  coat  of  arms  and  the  inscription,  ''Country 
in  possession  of  Russia,"  intended,  as  he  says,  ''for 
the  better  assertion  of  Russia's  rights,  founded  upon 
discovery."  The  shields  were  intrusted  to  navigators 
of  the  Shelikof  and  Golikof  Company.  Jacobi  also 
recommended  that  the  collection  of  tribute  from  the 
natives  should  be  abolished  and  replaced  by  a  volun- 
tary tax.  He  pointed  out  the  disadvantages  to  both 
traders  and  natives  resulting  from  the  tribute  system, 
and  suggested  that  by  impressing  the  savages  with  a 
sense  of  the  power  of  the  empress  and  her  tender  care 
for  all,  even  her  most  distant  subjects,  and  by  allow- 
ing them  to  deliver  to  government  agents  a  voluntary 
contribution  or  tax,  much  good  might  be  accomplished. 
According  to  Jacobi's  opinion,  the  collection  of  tribute 
hastened  the  extermination  of  fur-bearing  animals. 

With  regard  to  the  proposed  amelioration  Jacobi 
said  that  there  could  be   no  doubt  of  the  truth  of 

"^  The  empress  intended  to  afford  safer  navigation  and  traffic  by  sending 
■war- vessels  from  the  Baltic  under  command  of  Captain  Mulovski.  Mulovski's 
vessels  were  to  separate  upon  arrival  in  the  northern  Pacific,  one  division  to 
go  to  the  American  coast,  under  his  own  command,  and  the  other  to  proceed 
to  the  Kurile  Islands,  but  on  account  of  the  war  with  Sweden  the  squadron 
did  not  sail.  Lieutenant  Trevenen,  who  had  sailed  under  Cook,  was  engaged 
to  join  for  discovery  purposes.  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  16;  Burney's  Chron. 
Hist.  Voy. 


Shelikof's  report,  and  that  it  would  be  but  a  just 
recognition  of  what  the  Shehkof  Company  had  done 
for  the  commerce  of  Russia,  and  for  the  country  at 
large,  to  grant  them  the  exclusive  right  of  hunting 
and  trading  in  the  islands  and  territories  discovered 
by  their  vessels.^  He  even  added  that  it  would  be 
unfair  to  allow  new-comers  to  enjoy  the  present  peace 
to  which  Shelikof  had  reduced  Kadiak.  Without 
regard  for  the  claims  of  any  who  had  preceded  them, 
they  alone  should  be  rewarded,  because  they  had  a 
larger  force  and  conquered   without   exterminating.* 

He  further  argued  that  unless  the  Shelikof  Com- 
pany was  afforded  special  privileges  the  successes 
gained  by  the  founders  of  the  first  settlement  on  the 
islands  would  be  neutralized  by  the  unrestrained  ac- 
tions of  lawless  adventurers.  Cruelty  would  increase, 
and  the  natives  would  submit  to  no  such  infliction  after 
the  enjoyment  of  peaceful  intercourse  with  Shelikof 
In  conclusion  Jacobi  implored  his  imperial  mistress 
to  intrust  the  management  of  the  latest  additions  to 
her  domain  to  a  man  who  "was  known  to  have  many 
times  set  aside  his  love  of  gain  in  the  interest  of 
humanity."  What  Jacobi  himself  was  to  receive  in 
case  of  Shelikof's  success  the  governor  general  does 
not  say.  The  hundreds  who  had  done  more  and  suf- 
fered more  than  these  who  would  now  have  it  all  to 
themselves,  to  them  he  denied  every  right  or  reward. 

The  empress  ordered  the  imperial  college  of  com- 
merce, through  its  president.  Count  Chernyshef,  to 
examine  in  detail  all  questions  connected  with  the 
fur-trade  in  those  parts,  and  the  means  of  advancing 
the  interests  of  Russia  in  the   eastern   ocean.     The 

3 The  limits  of  these  'discoveries'  Jacobi,  with  reckless  liberality,  placed 
at  from  latitude  49°  to  60°  and  from  eastern  longitude  53°  to  63°  from  Okhotsk. 
Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  20. 

*  Jacobi  advanced  the  idea  that  so  far  'as  known  nobody  else  was  then 
engaged  in  business  where  Shelikof  had  succeeded  in  establishing  the  do- 
minion of  Russia,  though  some  vessels  had  been  in  the  neighborhood  in 
1761,  1767,  and  1780,  but  they  reached  only  a  promontory  of  Kadiak  named 
Aiekhtatik,  and  the  hunters  of  those  vessels  were  held  in  check  by  the  natives 
and  prevented  from  hunting,  though  their  number  was  large  enough  to  resist 
attack.'  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  22. 


committee  appointed  in  pursuance  of  this  order  pre- 
sented a  long  report  in  March  1788,^  which  seemed  to 
have  been  wholly  impressed  with  the  ideas  of  Jacobi. 
After  reviewing  the  apparent  merits  of  the  case  and 
the  policy  of  the  proposed  measure,  the  committee 
finally  recommended  that  the  request  of  Shelikof  and 
Gohkof  for  exclusive  privileges  be  granted,  and  that 
the  enterprise  be  subsidized  with  a  loan  of  two  hun- 
dred thousand  rubles  from  the  public  treasury,  with- 
out interest,  for  a  period  of  twenty  years,  the  capital 
to  be  returned  in  instalments.  The  outlay,  it  was 
added,  would  likewise  be  repaid  tenfold  in  the  form 
of  taxes  and  import  and  export  duties. 

In  pursuance  of  this  report  an  imperial  oukaz  was 
issued  September  28,  1788,  granting  the  company 
exclusive  control  over  the  region  actually  occupied  by 
them,  but  no  further,  thus  leaving  rival  traders  free 
sway  in  adjoining  parts.  Assistance  from  the  public 
treasury  was  refused  because  of  foreign  wars.  The 
empress  was  made  to  say:  "As  a  reward  for  services 
rendered  to  the  country  by  the  merchants  Shelikof 
and  Golikof  by  discovering  unknown  countries  and 
nations,  and  establishing  commerce  and  industries 
there,  we  most  graciously  confer  upon  them  both 
swords  and  gold  medals,  the  latter  to  be  worn  around 
the  neck,  with  our  portrait  on  one  side,  and  on  the 
reverse  an  explanatory  inscription  that  they  have 
been  conferred  by  order  of  the  governing  senate  for 
services  rendered  to  humanity  by  their  noble  and  bold 
deeds."  ^  By  the  same  oukaz  all  former  laws  for  the 
collection  of  tribute  from  the  Aleuts  were  revoked. 

^Report  of  committee  on  commerce,  March  1788.  Tihhmenef,  Istor.  Obos., 
i.  237.  It  dwelt  at  length  upon  the  sacrifices  of  Shelikof,  and  pointed  to 
the  fact  that  owing  to  the  failure  of  a  regular  supply  of  valuable  furs  from 
Siberia  and  the  islands  the  overland  trade  with  China  was  interrupted,  to  the 
great  loss  of  Russian  merchants  who  had  large  sums  invested  in  goods  salable 
only  in  the  Chinese  market;  while  the  articles  previously  imported  from 
China  directly  into  Russia  and  Poland,  such  as  teas,  silks,  and  nankeens, 
could  be  obtained  only  through  foreign  maritime  nations  at  a  great  increase 
of  cost. 

^A  special  letter  of  acknowledgement  was  issued  by  the  sovereign  on 
October  11th,  which  is  printed  in  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.,  app.,  1. 


While  this  was  but  a  half-way  measure  toward  his 
ambitious  schemes  Shelikof  had  to  content  himself 
for  a  time.  He  returned  to  Irtkutsk,  there  to  fit  out 
two  vessels,  one  for  the  Aleutian  isles,  and  one  for 
the  Kuriles,  and  to  plan  for  a  more  complete  victory, 
by  which  to  become  master  of  all  Alaska. 

Two  important  documents  were  issued  in  1787  by 
the  commander  of  Okhotsk,  which  indicate  that  the 
authorities  by  no  means  placed  implicit  faith  in  the 
humanity  of  the  Shelikof  Company  or  its  servants. 
Both  papers  bear  the  same  date,  June  15th;  and  one 
is  directed  to  navigators  and  traders,  while  the  other 
is  intended  as  a  reassuring  proclamation  to  the  native 
chiefs  as  representatives  of  their  people.  The  first 
sets  forth  that  in  view  of  many  complaints  of  ill-treat- 
ment of  Aleuts  having  reached  Okhotsk,  traders  and 
navigators  are  enjoined  to  treat  with  the  utmost  kind- 
ness all  Aleuts  who  have  acknowledged  themselves 
Russian  subjects,  and  not  to  carry  them  away  from 
home  without  their  free  consent.  The  document 
concludes  as  follows:  "The  highest  authorities  have 
already  been  informed  of  all  your  former  outrages 
committed  upon  the  islanders,  but  they  must  cease 
henceforth,  and  you  must  endeavor  to  act  in  conform- 
ity with  the  wishes  of  our  most  gracious  empress, 
who  is  anxious  to  give  protection  to  every  inhabitant 
of  her  dominions.  Do  not  believe  or  flatter  your- 
selves that  your  former  deeds  will  escape  punishment, 
but  be  convinced  that  sooner  or  later  every  transgres- 
sion of  the  laws  of  God  or  our  monarch  will  meet 
with  its  due  reward.  I  trust  that  these  prescriptions 
will  be  observed  at  once,  and  you  must  not  forget  that 
it  is  the  first  duty  of  every  faithful  Russian  subject 
to  report  any  transgression  of  the  laws  which  comes 
under  his  observation.  To  this  I  append  my  own 
signature  and  the  seals  of  the  province  of  Okhotsk 
and  of  the  district  of  Nishekanichatsk,  this  15th  day 
of  June  1787.  Grioror  Kozlof-Usfrenin,  colonel  and 
commander  of  the  province  of  Okhotsk." 


The  second  document  is  at  once  characteristic  of 
the  empress  and  important  in  itself.  I  reproduce  it 
in  full  in  a  note.^ 

' '  To  the  Chiefs  and  People  inhabiting  the  Aleutian  Islands  in  the  North- 
eastern Ocean,  subjects  of  the  Russian  Empire:  The  Mother  of  her  countrj^, 
the  great  and  wise  Empress  of  the  Imperial  throne  of  All  the  Russias,  Eka- 
terina  Alexeievna,  having  always  at  heart  the  welfare  of  her  faithful  subjects, 
extends  her  especial  protection  and  attention  to  those  nations  who  have  but 
lately  become  subjects  of  the  Russian  Empire,  and  has  deigned  to  instruct 
the  present  Governor-general  of  Irkutsk,  Major-general  and  Cavalier  Klichke, 
to  send  to  our  islands,  by  way  of  Kamchatka,  and  to  the  Kurile  Islands, 
Russian  medals,  whicii  have  been  forwarded  to  you.  They  were  sent  to  you 
as  proof  of  the  motherly  care  of  the  Empress;  and  it  was  ordered  that  these 
medals  should  be  given  to  those  islanders  who  are  already  under  control  of 
the  Russian  crown,  while  at  the  same  time  it  was  intended  to  issue  them  also 
to  such  as  wished  to  enter  the  Russian  Empire  hereafter.  These  medals  will 
be  distributed  at  every  place  where  the  Russian  trading-vessels  can  land  in 
safety,  and  thus  they  will  protect  you  against  ill-treatment  not  only  by  Rus- 
sian hunters,  but  at  the  hand  of  our  allied  powers  who  may  visit  your  sliores. 
From  the  latter  you  may  feel  entirely  safe,  for  even  if  any  foreign  vessel 
should  attempt  to  appropriate  your  islands  to  its  own  country,  the  sight  of 
these  medals  of  the  Russian  Empire  would  disperse  all  such  thoughts,  and  if 
any  disputes  should  arise  they  will  be  settled  by  friendly  negotiations  with 
these  powers.  As  far  as  the  Russian  vessels  are  concerned  that  visit  your 
islands  for  the  purpose  of  trade  and  hunting  the  fur-bearing  animals,  I  have 
already  received  through  the  hands  of  my  officials  at  Kamchatka  and  Okhotsk 
several  complaints,  the  first  through  Sergeant  Alexei  Buynof,  the  second  from 
the  son  of  the  chief  of  the  Andreianof  Islands,  Izossim  Polutof,  and  the 
third  from  the  Aleut  of  the  Lissievski  Islands,  Toukoutan  Ayougnin;  from 
which  complaints  I  have  learned  to  my  sorrow  of  the  inhumanities  inflicted 
upon  you  by  our  Russian  trading-ships,  of  which  the  government  up  to  this 
time  had  received  no  information;  it  was  thought  that  no  actual  violation 
of  the  laws  had  taken  place  m  those  distant  regions.  But  now  your  peti- 
tions have  been  forwarded  by  me  to  the  highest  authorities  and  I  trust  that 
you  will  before  long  receive  full  satisfaction.  In  the  mean  time  I  ask  you  to 
be  content  and  not  to  doubt  the  kindness  and  justice  of  the  great  Empress 
of  All  the  Russias  who  is  sure  to  defend  and  protect  you,  knowing  your  sin- 
cere submission  to  her  sceptre.  You  must  show  this  order  to  all  Russian  ves- 
sels that  visit  you  and  it  will  protect  you  in  so  far  that  every  inhabitant  of 
your  islands  may  remain  in  his  village,  and  cannot  be  compelled  to  go  to  any 
other  island  unknown  to  him.  But  if  one  of  you  goes  abroad  with  his  free 
consent,  he  will  be  provided  with  food  and  clothing  until  the  time  of  his  re- 
turn, and  the  food  shall  be  such  as  he  has  been  accustomed  to.  If  you  believe 
that  you  have  been  ill-treated  by  any  people  belonging  to  the  Russian  Em- 
pire, or  if  you  have  suffered  compulsion  or  injury  at  their  hands,  I  advise  you 
to  take  notice  of  their  name  and  that  of  their  ship,  and  what  company  of 
merchants  they  belong  to,  and  in  due  time  you  can  forward  your  complaints 
upon  the  matter,  and  upon  satisfactory  proof  such  men  will  be  punished 
according  to  their  offences  and  you  will  get  satisfaction.  Information  has  also 
reached  me  to  the  effect  that  the  hunters  receive  from  you  furs  of  good  qual- 
ity as  tribute,  but  change  them  and  forward  poor  skins  to  the  Empress; 
therefore  I  advise  you  to  mark  such  skins  with  special  signs  and  tokens,  mak- 
ing cuts  or  brands  which  cannot  be  easily  changed,  and  if  it  is  done  in  spite 
of  these  precautions  the  offenders  will  be  punished  very  severely.  Further- 
more I  assure  you  of  the  continued  protection  and  care  of  all  the  inhabitants 
of  your  islands  by  her  most  gracious  Imperial  Majesty  and  her  supreme  gov- 
ernment, as  well  as  of  the  best  wishes  of  the  Commander  of  the  Province  of 


The  new  order  of  things  estabhshed  by  Kozlof  did 
not  cause  any  immediate  change  in  the  demeanor  of 
the  Russian  promyshleniki,  and  it  is  doubtful  whether 
the  humane  document  addressed  to  the  natives  was 
ever  read  or  translated  to  one  of  them.  Accord- 
ing to  the  testimony  of  Sarychef  and  Sauer,  matters 
had  not  improved  much  when  they  visited  the  country 
several  years  later.  Yet  upon  the  few  individuals 
who  were  then  planning  for  a  monopoly  of  the  fur- 
trade  in  the  Russian  possessions  on  the  American 
coast,  the  hints  contained  in  the  documents  quoted 
were  not  lost.  They  recognized  the  fact  that  such 
boons  as  they  craved  from  the  government  could 
be  obtained  only  by  the  adoption  of  a  policy  of  hu- 
manity and  obedience  to  the  laws,  wholly  different 
from  the  ruthless  transactions  of  private  traders. 
Shelikof,  the  shrewdest  of  all  the  plotters,  had,  as  we 
have  shown,  originated  this  policy,  and  he  lived  long 
enough  to  see  that  so  far  as  his  plans  were  concerned 
it  worked  to  perfection.  His  instructions  to  Samoilof, 
to  whom  he  left  the  command  of  his  colony  on  return- 
ing to  Okhotsk,  were  admirably  calculated  to  impress 
the  reader  with  a  sense  of  the  wisdom,  humanity,  and 

Okhotsk  and  the  district  and  township  of  Nishnekamtchatsk.  Signed  the 
loth  day  of  June  17S7,  by  Grigor  Kozlof- Ugrenin.' 

Three  copies  still  extant  of  the  original  document  bear  the  following  sig- 
natures: 'Have  read  the  original.  Master  Gavril  Pribylof. '  'Have  read  the 
copy.  Master  Potap  Zaikof.'  'Have  read  the  copy.  Foreman  Leontiy  Na- 
gaief . ' 

When  Kozlof- Ugrenin  issued  his  two  manifestoes  he  had  not  met  La  Pe- 
rouse  and  the  other  officers  of  the  French  north-western  expedition,  for  the 
Botissole  and  Adrolaho  did  not  reach  the  bay  of  Avatcha  until  September, 
1787.  La  Perouse  and  M.  dc  Lesseps,  his  Eussian  interpreter,  testify  to  the 
excellent  character  of  Ugrenin,  who  appears  to  have  been  actuated  by  a 
sincere  desire  to  improve  the  condition  of  all  the  inhabitants,  Russians  and 
savages,  of  the  vast  province  under  his  command.  At  that  time  the  govern- 
ment of  that  region  was  organized  as  follows:  Since  Cook's  visit  to  Kamchatka 
the  country  had  been  attached  to  the  province  of  Okhotsk,  undei  one  gov- 
ernor, Colonel  Kozlof- Ugrenin;  under  him  Captain  Shmalef  was  superintend- 
ent of  the  native  Kamchatkans;  Lieutenant  Kaborof  commanded  at  Petro- 
pavlovsk,  with  one  sergeant  and  40  Cossacks;  at  Nishnekamtchatsk  there 
was  a  Major  Eleonof,  while  at  Bolsheretzk  and  Verkhneikamchatsk  only  ser- 
geants were  in  command.  The  income  derived  from  Kamchatka  by  the  gov- 
ernment was  out  of  all  pi'oportion  to  the  expenditure  involved.  In  1787  the 
tribute  collected  from  the  natives  amounted  to  300  sable-skins,  200  gray  and 
red  foxes,  and  a  few  sea-otters,  while  nearly  400  soldiers  and  many  officers 
were  maintained  in  the  country.  La  Perouse,  Voy. ,  iii.  167-9,  202. 


disinterestedness  of  the  writer,^  ordering  as  they  did 
the  good  treatment  of  the  natives,  their  instruction 
in  Russian  laws,  customs,  and  rehgion,  the  estabHsh- 
ment  of  schools  for  the  young,  and  the  promotion 
of  discipline  and  morality  among  the  Russians  as  an 
example  to  the  aborigines.  Much  of  this  was  in- 
tended chiefly  for  the  sake  of  effect,  since  the  com- 
pany by  no  means  intended  to  expend  any  particular 
efforts  for  the  advancement  of  the  natives.  The 
secret  instructions  to  the  same  agent,  though  mainly 
verbal,  contained  clauses  which  indicated  how  far 
philanthropy  was  supposed  to  further  the  predomi- 
nant aim,  the  advancement  of  the  company.     For  a 

^  This  remarkable  document,  of  which  I  have  given  specimens,  was  dated 
the  14th  of  May  1786,  and  has  been  printed  in  full  by  Tikhmenef  in  the 
appendix  to  his  second  volume.  Speaking  of  the  natives  of  Kadiak  and  the 
Chugatsches,  Shelikof  says:  'In  pacifying  the  inhabitants  you  should  explain 
to  them  the  benetits  resulting  from  our  laws  and  institutions,  and  tell  them 
that  peojile  who  become  faithful  and  permanent  subjects  of  the  empress  will  be 
protected,  while  evil-disposed  people  shall  feel  the  strength  of  her  arm.  When 
visiting  the  different  stations  you  must  investigate  complaints  against  your 
subordinates  by  first  hearing  each  party  separately  and  then  together . .  .  You 
will  instruct  them  in  building  good  houses,  and  in  habits  of  economy  and 
industry. .  .The  school  I  have  established  for  the  instruction  of  native  children 
in  reading  and  writing  Paissian  must  be  enlarged ...  As  soon  as  possible  the 
sacred  books  and  doctrines  of  our  church  should  be  translated  into  their 
language  by  capable  translators ...  I  take  with  me  to  Siberia  40  natives,  males 
and  females,  old  and  young.  Some  of  these  I  will  send  back  on  the  same 
ship,  after  slio\\'ing  them  some  of  our  villages,  and  the  way  we  live  at  home, 
while  a  small  number  will  be  forwarded  to  the  court  of  her  imperial  Majesty; 
the  remaining  children  I  will  take  with  me  to  be  instructed  in  the  schools  of 
Okhotsk  and  Irkutsk,  and  through  them  their  families  and  tribes  will  acquu-e 
a  better  knowledge  of  our  country  and  the  laws  and  good  order  reigning 
there . . .  With  regard  to  the  officers  and  men  connected  with  the  three  vessels 
left  in  your  care  you  will  main  tarn  good  order  and  discipline  among  all  classes, 
and  sti'ictly  enforce  obedience,  as  we  cannot  expect  the  natives  to  accept  rules 
which  we  do  not  obey  ourselves. .  .TratSc  with  the  Aleuts  must  be  carried  on 
in  an  honest  manner,  and  cheating  must  be  punished.  Quarrels  and  disputes 
must  be  settled  by  ai'bitration .  . .  Hostages  and  native  employes  must  be  well 
treated,  but  should  not  be  taken  into  our  houses  without  your  special  permis- 
sion; serving-women  must  not  be  taken  into  our  houses,  unless  for  the  purpose 
of  sewing  and  similar  work .  . .  Stores  of  provisions  for  at  least  two  years  must 
be  kept  at  every  station  to  enable  you  to  assist  tlie  natives  in  times  of  famine. 
...  At  all  the  forts  warm  and  comfortable  quarters  must  be  erected  for  the 
Aleuts,  and  also  stables  for  the  cattle  I  have  ordered  to  be  shipped  from 
Okhotsk... My  godson  Nikolai,  who  has  always  faithfully  served  the  com- 
pany and  whom  I  have  fed  and  clothed  at  my  own  expense,  I  recommend  to 
your  special  care,  and  hope  that  he  will  have  no  cause  to  complain  of  the 
company's  treatment  in  return  for  his  faithful  services,  and  also  that  this  god- 
son of  mine  may  receive  further  instruction  and  be  taught  to  respect  God  and 
the  emperor,  and  the  laws  of  God  and  of  the  country.'  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos., 
ii.,  app.,  8-19. 


time  rival  traders  must  be  tolerated,  but  as  soon  as 
sufficient  strength  was  acquired  they  should  be  ex- 
cluded from  the  districts  occupied  by  the  Shelikof 

Limited  as  were  the  plans  with  regard  to  actual 
execution,  Samoilof  lacked  the  qualifications  to  carry 
them  out,  or  to  grasp  the  real  object  of  their  framer, 
and  Shelikof  knew  it.  As  soon  as  he  returned  from 
Kadiak,  therefore,  he  began  to  look  about  for  a  proper 
person,  and  his  choice  fell  on  Alexander  Baranof,  a 
merchant  then  engaged  in  trade  on  the  Anadir  River. 
Shelikof's  first  proposals  to  Baranof  were  declined 
principally  because  his  own  business  was  moderately 
prosperous  and  he  preferred  independence.  One  of 
the  partners  of  the  company,  Eustrate  Delarof,  a 
Greek,^°  was  then  selected  to  manage  afikirs  in  the 
colony,  but  his  powers  were  more  local  and  confined 

'Article  24.  'If  any  other  company  sends  out  one  or  two  ships  and 
people  to  engage  in  the  same  trade  with  us,  you  must  treat  them  in  a  friendly 
manner  and  assist  them  to  do  their  business  quickly  and  to  leave  again,  giving 
them  to  understand  at  the  same  time  at  M^hat  an  immense  sacrifice  we  have 
established  our  stations  and  what  risks  we  have  run  in  pacifying  the  Ameri- 
cans, cautioning  them  not  excite  the  natives  by  ill-treatment  or  cheating, 
which  would  cause  little  danger  to  them  who  are  here  only  temporarily,  but 
might  easily  cause  the  destruction  of  our  establishments,  extended  all  over 
this  region  at  great  risk  and  expense  and  to  the  greatest  benefit  of  the 
country  in  general.  But  when  I  have  sent  out  two  more  vessels  well  manned, 
in  addition  to  the  three  now  at  your  disposal,  you  must  take  a  more  resolute 
stand,  drive  off  all  intruders,  and  declare  the  Ptussian  sovereignty  over  all  the 
country  on  the  American  continent  and  California,  down  to  the  40th  degree 
of  north  latitude.'  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  ii.,  app.,  16.  Sbelikof  himself 
acted  up  to  his  ideas  on  the  subject.  In  1786  the  ship  Sv  Pavel,  belonging  to 
the  Lebedef-Lastochkia  Company,  came  to  Kadiak  with  35  men,  commanded 
by  Peredovchik  Kolomin.  They  were  advised  to  move  on,  and  told  that 
there  was  an  abundance  of  sea-otters  in  Cook  Inlet.  Kolomin  followed  the 
advice,  and  establislied  the  first  pemianent  station  on  the  mainland,  a  fact 
to  which  Shelikof  took  good  care  never  to  give  any  prominence  before  the 
government  or  the  public.  Tikhmenef,  Istor.  Obos.,  i.  30.  Sauer  writes  in 
reference  to  this  policy:  '  Ever  since  Shelikof  formed  his  establishment  at 
Kadiak  no  other  companies  have  dared  to  venture  to  the  eastward  of  the 
Shumagin  Islands.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  Lukhanin's  vessel  will  be 
the  last  that  will  attempt  to  visit  these  islands  for  furs,  and  probably  he  will 
obtain  hardly  any  other  than  foxes.'  Geo'j.  and  Astron.  Exped.,  276. 

'°  Eustrate  Ivanovich  Delarof,  a  native  of  the  Peloponese,  established  him- 
self as  a  merchant  in  Moscow  and  subsequently  became  a  partner  in  firms 
trading  with  America.  He  was  in  command  of  many  vessels,  stations,  and 
expeditions.  He  finally  became  a  director  of  the  Russian  American  company, 
and  was  honored  by  the  government  with  the  rank  of  commercial  councillor. 
Khlebnikflf,  Shizn.  Baranova,  14. 


than  those  Shelikof  had  intended  to  confer  upon 
Baranof.  Delarof's  administration  at  Kadiak  won 
him  the  good-will  of  all  under  his  command,  both 
Russians  and  natives,  and  he  received  well  merited 
praise  from  all  visitors,  Spanish,  English,  and  Rus- 
sian. In  all  reports  concerning  Delarof,  prominence 
is  given  to  his  justice  to  all,  and  his  kindness  to  the 
natives;  but  just  and  amiable  men  are  not  usually 
of  the  kind  chosen  to  manage  a  monopoly.  In  this 
instance  Delarof  was  too  lenient  to  suit  his  avaricious 
and  unscrupulous  partners.  Shelikof  never  lost  sight 
of  Baranof,  and  when  the  treacherous  Chukchi  with 
whom  he  was  trading  robbed  him  of  his  goods  and 
reduced  him  to  poverty,  it  did  not  require  much  per- 
suasion to  induce  him  to  enter  the  service  of  the 
Shelikof  Company  at  a  compensation  of  ten  shares, 
equivalent  to  about  one  sixth  of  the  net  proceeds. 
A  mutual  agreement  was  drawn  up  between  the  com- 
pany and  Baranof  on  the  18th  of  August  1790,^^  and 
the  instructions  already  issued  to  Samoilof  and  De- 
larof were  in  the  main  confirmed.  Operations  must 
be  extended  also  along  the  coast  southward,  and  steps 
might  be  taken  to  obtain  supplies  from  other  quarters 
besides  Siberia 

Alexandr  Andreievich  Baranof  was  born  in  Kar- 
gopol,  eastern  Russia,  in  1747.  At  an  early  age  he 
went  to  Moscow,  and  was  engaged  as  clerk  in  retail 
shops  until  he  established  himself  in  business  in  1771. 

^^  The  contract,  in  addition  to  instructions  with  regard  to  the  treatment  of 
natives,  contained  some  outlines  of  what  the  company  expected  to  accomplish 
under  Baranof's  management.  He  was  to  seek  a  harbor  on  the  left  (north) 
side  of  the  Alaska  peninsula  and  thence  a  communication  with  Cook  Inlet 
by  means  of  a  short  portage,  reported  by  the  natives.  Of  this  he  was  to 
make  use  in  case  of  attack  by  hostile  cruisers.  In  addition  he  was  furnished 
with  ample  instructions  how  to  act  in  case  of  such  attacks  upon  the  diffei^ent 
stations.  A  ship  accompanied  by  a  fleet  of  canoes  was  to  go  to  Cape  St  Elias 
and  thence  to  Nootka,  to  ascertain  whether  any  foreign  nations  had  estab- 
lished themselves  on  the  coast  between  the  Eussians  and  Spaniards.  Baranof 
was  also  to  enter  into  communication  with  the  English  )nerchant  Mcintosh, 
engaged  in  the  East  India  and  China  trade,  in  oi'der  to  make  arrangements 
for  supplying  the  Russian  settlements  with  goods  and  provisions.  Tikhmenef, 
Istor.  Obos.,  i.  32-4. 


Not  meeting  with  success  he  emigrated  to  Siberia  in 
1780,  and  undertook  the  management  of  a  glass 
factory  at  Irkutsk.  He  also  interested  himself  in 
other  industries,  and  on  account  of  several  commu- 
nications to  the  Civil  Economical  Society  on  the 
subject  of  manufactures  he  was  in  1789  elected  a 
member  of  the  society.  It  was  a  humdrum  life  of 
which  he  soon  tired,  and  after  acquainting  himself  with 
the  resources  and  possibilities  of  the  country,  he  set 
out  eastward  with  an  assortment  of  goods  and  liquors 
which  he  sold  to  the  savages  of  Kamchatka  and  the 
adjoining  country.  At  first  his  operations  were  suc- 
cessful,^^ but  when  in  1789  two  of  his  caravans  were 
captured  by  Chukchi  he  found  himself  bankrupt,  and 
yielded  to  Shelikof's  importunate  offers  to  go  to 
America.  He  had  a  wife  and  children  at  his  home  in 
Kargopol,  Russia,  but  during  his  subsequent  residence 
of  almost  thirty  years  in  the  colonies  he  never  saw  his 
family  again  though  he  provided  amply  for  them. 

Alexander  Baranof  was  no  ordinary  man,  and  never 
throughout  his  whole  career  did  Shelikof  display 
clearer  discrimination  and  foresight  than  in  the  selec- 
tion of  this  agent.  He  was  a  man  of  broad  experience, 
liberal-minded  and  energetic,  politic  enough  to  please 
at  once  the  government  and  the  company,  not  suffi- 
ciently just  or  humane  to  interfere  with  the  interests 
of  the  company,  yet  having  care  enough,  at  what  he 
decreed  the  projDer  time,  for  the  conventionalities  of 
the  world  to  avoid  bringing  discredit  on  himself  or 
his  office.  Notwithstanding  what  certain  Russian 
priests  and  English  navigators  have  said,  he  was  not 
the  lazy,  licentious  sot  they  would  have  us  believe. 
That  he  was  not  burdened  with  religion,  was  loose  in 
morals,  sometimes  drunk,  and  would  lie  officially 
M^thout  scruple,  there  is  no  doubt;  yet  in  all  this  he 
was  conspicuous  over  his  accusers  in  that  his  indul- 

^^  He  established  trading  posts  in  Kamchatka  and  on  the  Anadir.  Khleh- 
nikof,  Shizn.  Baranova,  3-5.  See  also  Golovnin,  in  Materlalul,  i.  9-10;  Petrqf, 
Russ.  Am.  Co.,  MS.,  10;  Irviiir/'s  Astoria,  465;  Hid.  Northwest  Coast,  i\.  222, 
this  series;  and  the  rather  inimical  version  of  Juvenal,  Jour.,  MS.,  18-19. 


gences  were  periodical  rather  than  continuous,  and  not 
carried  on  under  veil  of  that  conventional  grace  and 
gravity  which  cover  a  multitude  of  sins. 

He  was  frequently  seized  with  fits  of  melancholy, 
due  partly  to  uncongenial  surroundings/^  and  would 
at  other  times  break  out  in  passionate  rage,  during 
which  even  women  were  not  safe  from  his  blows. 
This  exhibition,  however,  was  invariably  followed  by 
contrite  generosity,  displayed  in  presents  to  the  suf- 
ferers and  in  a  banquet  or  convivial  drinking  bout 
with  singing  and  merriment,  so  that  his  fits  came  to 
be  welcomed  as  forerunners  to  good  things.  His  hos- 
pitality was  also  extended  to  foreigners,  though  with 
them  he  observed  prudent  reticence.  The  poor  could 
always  rely  upon  his  aid,  and  this  benevolence  was 
coupled  with  an  integrity  and  disinterestedness  at 
least  far  above  the  usual  standard  among  his  associ- 

Compare  him  with  Grigor  Shelikof,  who  certainly 
did  not  lack  broad  vision  and  activity,  and  Baranof 
was  the  abler  man.  Both  belonged  to  the  shrewd 
yet  uncultured  and  somewhat  coarse  class  which  then 
formed  the  main  element  even  among  the  rich  men 
in  Siberia.  In  vital  deeds  Baranof  the  agent  rises 
superior  to  Shelikof  the  principal,  belongs  more  to 
history,  as  one  who  in  executing  difficult  plans  shows 
himself  often  a  greater  man  than  he  who  conceived 
them.  Indeed,  if  for  the  next  two  or  three  decades 
Baranof,  his  acts  and  his  influence,  were  absent,  Rus- 
sian American  history  for  that  period  would  be  but  a 
blank.  Among  all  those  who  came  from  Russia,  he 
alone  was  able  to  stem  the  tide  of  encroachment  by 
roving  traders  from  the  United  States  and  Great 
Britain.  He  was  any  day,  drunk  or  sober,  a  match 
for  the  navigator  who  came  to  spy  out  his  secrets. 

^^  To  disgust  at  his  low  companions,  says  Davidof,  but  he  was  not  much 
more  refined  himself.  Dvukr.  Putesh.,  i.  192. 

^*  Of  this  Davidof  has  no  doubt,  for  '  he  is  not  accumulating  wealth  though 
having  every  opportunity  to  do  so.'  Id.,  Juvenal,  Jour.,  MS.,  19-20. 


As  for  the  natives  his  influence  over  them  was  un- 
boimclecl,  chiefly  through  the  respect  with  which  his 
indomitable  courage  and  constant  presence  of  mind 
impressed  them.^°  And  yet  the  savage  who  came 
perhaps  from  afar  expressly  to  behold  the  famed 
leader,  was  not  a  little  disappointed  in  his  insignifi- 
cant appearance  as  compared  with  his  fierce  and  bushy 
bearded  associates.  Below  the  medium  height,  thin 
and  sallow  of  complexion,  with  scanty  red-tinged 
flaxen  hair  fringing  a  bald  crown,  he  seemed  but  an 
imp  among  giants.  The  later  habit  of  wearing  a  short 
black  wig  tied  to  his  head  with  a  black  handkerchief, 
added  to  his  grotesque  appearance. ^^ 

On  the  10th  of  August  1790,  Baranof  sailed  from 
Okhotsk  on  the  ship  Trekh  Sviatiteli,  commanded  by 
Master  Bocharof,  who  was  then  considered  the  most 
skilful  navigator  in  those  waters. ^^  When  only  a  few 
days  from  port  it  was  discovered  that  the  water-casks 
were  leaking.  The  ship's  company  was  placed  on  short 
allowance,  but  disease  made  its  appearance,  and  it  was 
thought  impossible  to  sail  direct  to  the  settlement  at 
Kadiak  as  had  been  the  intention.  On  the  28th  of 
September  the  vessel  was  turned  into  the  bay  of  Kos- 
higin,  Unalaska,  to  obtain  a  supply  of  fresh  water,  but 
on  the  30th,  when  about  to  leave  again,  a  storm  threw 
the  ship  upon  the  rocky  shore.  The  men  escaped 
with  belongings,  but  only  a  small  part  of  the  cargo 
was  saved.  Within  five  days  the  wreck  broke  in 
pieces,  and  a  messenger  was  sent  to  Kadiak  to  report 
the  loss,  but  failed  to  reach  that  place.  ^^ 

'^Davidof  was  deeply  impressed  with  this  leader  of  men  who  controlled  not 
only  the  hostile  savage  but  the  vicious  and  unruly  Russian,  and  rose  supreme 
to  every  hardship  and  danger  in  advancing  affairs  in  this  remote  corner. 

i«/d.,  194;  Trhitchimf,  Adv.,  2-4;  Markof,  L'uskie  no  Vostotchnom,  52. 

"  Bocharof  was  at  Okhotsk  in  1771,  at  the  time  of  the  insurrection  headed 
by  the  Polish  exile,  Count  Benyvovski.  The  latter  compelled  Bocharof  to  go 
with  him,  and  finally  took  him  to  France.  Thence  he  was  returned  to  St 
Petersburg  by  the  Russian  embassador  at  Paris,  and  the  empress  ordered  him 
to  resume  his  duties  at  Okhotsk.  To  this  involuntary  circumnavigation  of  the 
world  Bocharof  was  indebted  for  much  of  his  proficiency  in  nautical  science. 
Khhhnikof,  Hhizn.  Baranova,  5. 

"A  man  named  Alexander  Molef  was  sent  upon  this  errand  with  a  nam- 


Thrown  upon  his  own  resources,  Baranof  distributed 
his  men,  fifty-two  in  number,  over  the  island  to  shoot 
seals  and  sea-lions  and  dig  edible  roots,  the  only  food 
the  island  afforded  during  the  winter.  The  leader 
labored  with  the  men  and  lived  with  them  in  the  un- 
derground huts  which  they  constructed.  The  dried 
salmon  and  halibut  obtained  occasionally  from  the 
Aleuts  were  a  luxury,  and  on  holidays  a  soup  was 
made  of  rye  flour  of  which  a  small  quantity  had  been 
saved.  The  winter  was  not  wholly  lost  to  Baranof, 
who  seized  this  opportunity  to  study  the  people,  both 
Russians  and  natives,  with  whom  he  had  thrown  his 
lot  for  so  many  years  to  come,  and  whom  he  was  to 
rule  without  a  shadow  of  actual  or  apparent  support 
from  the  government.  It  was  here  that  he  formed 
plans  which  were  afterward  of  great  service  to  the 
company.  ^^ 

Spring  coming,  three  large  bidars  were  made  in 
which  to  push  on  to  Kadiak,  with  two  of  which 
Bocharof  was  to  explore  and  hunt  along  the  northern 
coast  of  the  Alaska  peninsula.  Twenty-six  men  were 
assigned  to  this  expedition  while  Baranof  took  a  crew 
of  sixteen  in  the  third  boat,  leaving  five  at  Unalaska 
to  guard  what  had  been  saved  from  the  cargo  and 
rigging  of  the  wrecked  ship.  Toward  the  end  of 
April  1791  the  three  bidars  put  to  sea,  and  on  the 

ber  of  Aleuts.  When  only  a  hundred  miles  from  Kadiak  the  party  was 
attacked  by  the  natives  of  the  Alaska  peninsula,  on  which  occasion  five  of  the 
Aleuts  were  killed.  Molef,  though  severely  wounded,  managed  to  launch 
his  bidarka  and  make  his  way  to  Unga,  where  he  remained  imtil  picked  up 
by  Baranof  the  following  year.  Id. ,  7. 

^'  Baranof 's  letter  written  at  this  time  presents  a  vivid  picture  of  life  there. 
'  I  passed  the  Avinter  in  great  hardships,'  he  says,  'especially  when  the  weather 
was  bad.  Sometimes  two  months  passed  by  without  a  possibility  of  going 
any  distance,  but  I  made  use  of  every  clear  day  to  go  out  with  my  gun  in 
search  of  some  addition  to  our  larder.  On  one  of  these  excursions  I  fell  into 
one  of  the  traps  set  for  foxes  and  was  slightly  wounded. .  .1  boiled  salt  of  very 
good  quality,  as  white  as  snow,  and  used  it  for  salting  fish,  and  seal,  and  sea- 
lion  meat.  As  far  as  cooking  with  oil  is  concerned  we  were  fasting  all  the 
time,  and  the  week  before  Easter  we  were  compelled  to  fast  altogether,  but 
on  Easter  Monday  a  dead  whale  was  cast  ashore  and  furnished  us  a  feast.  In 
the  same  week  we  killed  three  sea-lions,  and  the  famine  was  at  an  end.  I 
had  become  accustomed  to  think  no  more  of  flour  or  bread. '  Khlebnikqf,  Shizn. 
Baranova,  8.     Only  three  men  died  of  scui'vy. 


1 0th  of  May  they  separated  in  Issanakh  Strait,  at  the 
southern  end  of  the  peninsula.  After  an  absence  of 
five  months  Bocharof  rejoined  his  comr